EU decision on scrap export ban postponed until early 2023?
EU decision on scrap export ban postponed until early 2023?

3 November 2022 – Has the vote on the controversial EU Waste Shipment Regulation been postponed? Is this to give lobby groups more influence on the voting behaviour of the European parliamentarians? Green-washing strategy of EU steel producers in danger due to reported top results? And the US customs authorities are taking measures against circumvention attempts on steel from China.

EU decision on scrap export ban postponed until early 2023?

Rumours have been circulating since the beginning of October 2022 that the vote on the new EU Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) could be postponed. Several media reports refer to “sources in the EU familiar with the issue” and to the responsible rapporteur and Member of the European Parliament Pernille Weiss.

Surge in lobby activities

Recently, there has been a surge in efforts by various lobby groups to influence the design of the revised EU Waste Shipment Regulation. Understandably, this is not about the typical household waste of the average European family, but about the economic battle for ferrous and non-ferrous scrap and the possibility of exporting it out of the EU or keeping it in the Union and banning its export under the Green Washing pretext that third countries cannot reasonably handle it.

Much criticism of EU waste shipment regulation

The reports assume that a possible vote in the EU ENVI Committee and the subsequent vote in the EU Parliament will be postponed until early 2023. Behind the scenes, so that lobby groups can exert even more influence on the design of the WSR with the European parliamentarians.

The Waste Shipment Regulation is already being described and criticised both within Europe and internationally as a pure market protection measure, especially for the benefit of the EU steel industry. While it is accepted that companies specialising in the export of scrap metal will be destroyed in the process.

EU stainless steel producers with very good earnings

While the EU stainless steel giant Outokumpu publishes excellent figures for the first nine months of 2022, the picture painted in the public relations of the European stainless steel producers looks quite different.

Green-Washing Strategy for European Steel

Here, as always, the mood is one of the end of time and without CBAM, free ETS certificates, EU Waste Shipment Regulation, energy cost surcharges, Safeguard and market protection measures, they are not viable and urgently need to receive subsidies for the green transformation, hydrogen production and alternative energies.

This fits in with the green-washing strategy of European steel producers, but makes them untrustworthy when they announce a comprehensive buyback programme for their own shares at the same time.

Steel: circumvention of anti-dumping and countervailing duties

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has discovered attempts to circumvent anti-dumping and countervailing duties on certain steel products, so-called steel gratings, originating in China at several importers and has initiated provisional punitive measures against them.

Circumvention attempts also in Europe

Even if this refers to the United States, it is just one more example of the increasing attempts to circumvent market protection measures. In the European Union, several anti-circumvention proceedings are also underway, among others against certain stainless steel tubes and pipe fittings from Malaysia/China and, most prominently, against stainless steel hot-rolled coil from Turkey/Indonesia.

For buyers of stainless steel products, it is important to pay attention and to ensure that their suppliers have safe origins.

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