UK reviews steel quotas for developing countries exporting to UK

F.P. Report

LONDON: The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) has initiated a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) review on steel products which are imported into the UK from over 120 developing countries and which are subject to the UK steel safeguard trade remedy measure.

The TRA received a request to review the developing country exceptions on rebar, one of the categories of steel covered by the measure. The TRA is planning to review these exceptions for other categories of steel as well, bringing forward its planned annual review to ensure businesses can more quickly benefit from any necessary changes to the tariffs they are subject to. The existing quotas were set in July 2022.

Imports from some developing countries may be exceeding 3% of total UK imports

Tariff rate quotas (TRQs) are part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework. They specify how much of a product can be imported from a country before its imports are subject to higher tariffs. Imports from developing countries are given exceptions to these TRQs if the goods imported are less than 3% of the total imports of that product and if, collectively, these low volume exporters account for no more than 9% of the total imports of that product. Members of the WTO are responsible for managing their own developing country exceptions to TRQs.

The TRA will assess whether the exceptions for imports from developing countries need to be amended based on updated import data. The TRA’s assessment will consider imports from all developing countries, including countries which are currently excepted from the measure and those which are not.

Widening the scope of the review

The TRA has been asked to look at the developing country exceptions on rebar. To make the review more efficient, the TRA is considering whether to widen the scope and look at all steel categories and all developing country exceptions covered by the measure.

Have your say on the review

If you think your business will be affected by this review (for example, if you import steel products covered by the safeguard measure from a developing country), you can comment on the proposals. You can check the list of product codes affected and the list of developing countries. You can register your interest on the TRA’s online case platform within 14 days and comment by 30 January, 2023.

Once the TRA has considered all submissions, it will confirm the scope of the review. Businesses which think they may be affected by changes in quotas for steel imports can then register their interest (if they have not done so already) so they can participate in the review.

Once the TRA has completed its review, it will submit its recommendations for any changes to quotas to the Secretary of State for International Trade, who will make the final decision based on the TRA’s recommendation. If revisions to the TRQs are required, these will be provided in a notice published by the Department for International Trade.