EU imposes import duty on steel

In order to prevent “serious injury, and damage which it would be difficult to repair” and to counter US actions, the Commission has taken “safeguard measures” in the field of steel.

In response to the action taken by the US, the EU has adopted its own measures. They are as follows:

  • The measures will apply to 15 steel products;
  • They will apply tariffs to each of the products identified;
  • They will be applied in a non-discriminatory way;
  • In accordance with WTO rules, the EU will not apply them to imports from developing countries where such imports of a particular product do not exceed 3% cent of total EU imports of that product (other exemptions apply for Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan);
  • They are provisional measures and as such will last for 6 months;
  • The Commission will conduct a detailed investigation before deciding whether to propose the retention of measures (as “definitive measures”), or whether they should be modified or withdrawn;
  • “under no circumstances” will they last any longer than those of the US;

By taking these “safeguard measures”, the Commission is seeking to prevent the occurrence of “serious injury, and damage which it would be difficult to repair, to the Community producers arising from diverted trade, whilst preserving, insofar as possible, the openness of the Community market, and maintaining the flow of imports at their current historically high levels”.


The US have stated it is considering filing a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the EU's decision to introduce its measures on steel imports.


On 5 March, US President George W. Bush announced the imposition of tariffs of between 8 percent and 30 percent on a range of products from Europe, Asia and Latin America. Mr Bush took this decision to prevent importers from "flooding" the US market with "cheap imports".


The Commission has stated the EU measures will apply as long the US measures apply.


Subscribe to our newsletters