3 May 2018, by Dimana Todorova
Following tariffs imposed by the United States on certain aluminium products, the Commission has adopted a regulation to monitor the import of these products into the European market.
On the basis of Article 10 of Regulation (EU) 2015/478 which authorizes the Union to impose prior surveillance of goods imported from third countries when the evolution of imports of a product threatens to cause damage to producers of the Union, the Commission has adopted Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/640 which has placed on surveillance certain aluminum products originating in certain third countries in order to collect statistical information enabling the evolution of imports from third countries.
The Commission notes indeed that imports into the Union of aluminium products increased by 28% between 2013 and 2017 and that import prices decreased by 5%.
Moreover, despite the fact that China exports very little primary aluminium, due to export taxes, its overcapacity lowers world prices.
Finally, the Commission recalls that in April 2017, the United States initiated an investigation into the effect of aluminum imports on their national security, which resulted in the adoption of additional import duties of 10% for a wide range of aluminum products.
Thus, the current excess capacity, the current vulnerable situation of the Union industry and the potential trade diversion triggered by the United States measures are likely to cause material injury to the Union producers and justify the adoption of surveillance measures.
As a consequence, imports of certain aluminium products listed in Annex I to the Regulation will be subject to surveillance and their release for free circulation will be subject to the submission of a surveillance document meeting uniform criteria (see Article 2 (5) of the Regulation) which will be valid throughout the Union. This requirement would begin to apply 15 calendar days after the coming into force of the Regulations on April 27, 2018.
The nomenclatures subject to prior Union surveillance are as follows:
On the other hand, imports whose net weight does not exceed 2,500 kilograms are excluded, as well are imports of products originating in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The Commission, which has recently initiated a safeguard investigation concerning certain steel products, has not considered it appropriate at this stage to open such a procedure for aluminum products. This case is to be followed closely. In the meantime, importers of such products should ensure compliance with this new import requirement from third countries.
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