As part of its fourth package of sanctions against Russia, published on Friday, the European Commission confirmed that it has prohibited imports of key iron and steel goods from Russia into the EU.
The Commission stated that the ban:
Will hit a central sector of Russia’s system, deprive it of billions of export revenues and ensure that our citizens are not subsidising Putin’s war.
The European Commission has directly targeted Russian steelmakers, with their removal from the safeguard system currently applied to imports of iron and steel products into the region.
Russian import quotas will be distributed to other third countries, to compensate for the loss of this source of supply.
This means that increased volumes of imports, from these alternate producers, will be allowed, before their material receives the 25 percent tariff.
There are currently 12 categories of steel products for which Russia receives country specific quotas.
The list below shows the categories involved and the current balances remaining for the first quarter quotas up to 14 March 2022.
8% – Non Alloy and Other Alloy Hot Rolled Sheets and Strips
100% – Electrical Sheets (other than GOES)
79% – Electrical Sheets (other than GOES)
87% – Non Alloy and Other Alloy Quarto Plates
0% – Non Alloy and Other Alloy Merchant Bars and Light Sections
0% – Rebars
0% – Non Alloy and Other Alloy Wire Rod
100% – Railway Material
0% – Hollow Sections
60% – Large Welded Tubes
27% – Non Alloy and Other Alloy Cold Finished Bars
55% – Non Alloy Wire
At time of writing, while these actions have been announced, no alterations have yet been made to the safeguard import monitoring system.
Furthermore, the scheduled annual review of safeguard measures is currently underway. The results of this review are expected before the end of April, with any new rules taking effect from July 1.
Alterations to the steel safeguard measures form just one part of the bloc’s latest round of sanctions against Russia.
The Commission will also withdraw Russia’s most-favoured-nation designation and has formalised plans to suspend Russia’s membership of major global financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Members of the WTO can suspend the most-favoured-nation clause, relating to a single member, if they invoke the treaty’s special exception for “essential security concerns”.
Russia has vowed to retaliate via the trade body’s dispute settlement mechanism, claiming that this action would violate WTO regulations.