As a reminder, these measures follow the US Administration decision on 30th May 2018 to impose additional duties on imports of European steel and aluminium, in particular those in the steel and aluminium sectors.
The European Commission adopted on 16 May 2018 Regulation 2018/724 on certain commercial policy measures concerning certain products originating in the United States of America. Should the current negotiations at WTO level between the United States Government and EU representatives fail, this Regulation – presented by the Commission as a safeguard measure in accordance with WTO law – will suspend the concessions vis-à-vis the United States. Pursuant to the Regulation, additional customs duties will be applied on products originating from the United States, listed in Annexes I and II to the said Regulation.
Following the European Commission confirmation of the implementation of the rebalancing measures against the US, the implementing Regulation n°2018/886 has been published in the Official Journal of the EU which will enter into force the very next day.
These European rebalancing measures should be implemented in two steps:
- Effective from 22 June 2018, the products listed in Annex I of Regulation 2018/886 (agricultural products, denim textile products, etc.) shall be subject to additional ad valorem duties amounting to a maximum rate of 25%;
- From 1 June 2021, or from the fifth day following the date of the adoption by, or notification to, the WTO Dispute Settlement of a ruling that the United States’ safeguard measures are inconsistent with the relevant provisions of the WTO Agreement, if that is earlier, the products listed in Annex II (e.g. essential oils, decorative articles, etc.) may be subject to ad valorem duties of 10%, 25%, 35% or 50% applied on their declared value.
This announcement follows the notification of the full list to the WTO and its endorsement by the College of Commissioners on 6 June unanimously supported by EU Members states.
The European rebalancing measures are to remain in place as long as the US measures will be ongoing.
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