EU Safeguard Measures: Calls for immediate end grow louder

Call for an End: Demands from the European downstream industry for an end to the EU Safeguard measures on steel and stainless steel imports in 2021 are growing steadily louder. Millions of jobs are at stake in the downstream industry. Steel producers want to close the market even further. Insiders warn of the danger of the industry migrating to more open markets.

EU Safeguard Measures: Calls for an End are growing louder

Updates on EU Safeguard measures

On June 11, 2021, the EU announced its intention to extend the Safeguard measures on certain steel products by 3 years and also notified this to the WTO. We will keep you updated here on the latest developments.

December 17, 2021

EC announces review of EU Safeguard measure – what next?

The European Commission announced the start of the review process for the Safeguard Measure (SAFE009R5) on 17 December 2021. What are the backgrounds? Why has the review procedure been initiated now? And how does the process work? We answer these questions here.

June 28, 2021

EU officially extends safeguard measures by 3 years

The European Commission has officially extended the existing safeguard measures on various steel products by 3 years as of 1 July 2021. Of course, we will continue to keep you informed in this regard.

To the article: EU Safeguard officially extended

June 23, 2021

EU Safeguard approval rating drops significantly

Agreement among EU member states on EU Safeguard measures on certain steel products has declined sharply. While almost 90% of EU members voted in support of Safeguard in 2018, only just under 63% voted in favor of an extension in June 2021.

To the article: EU Safeguard approval rating drops significantly

June 19, 2021

EU member states vote for Safeguard extension

On Friday, June 18, 2021, the possible extension of EU Safeguard on certain steel products moved a step closer. The majority of EU member states voted in favor of a three-year extension. This is already being portrayed by the major EU steel producers and parts of the trade press as a major coup. At the same time, EU steel consumers are being talked down.

To the article: EU member states vote for Safeguard extension

June 15, 2021

EU must correct Safeguard mistake

Still on Monday, the European Union had to correct its error in the Safeguard calculations to the WTO. Only a few hours after we had pointed it out

To the article: EU must correct Safeguard mistake

June 14, 2021

Outrage over EU Safeguard extension and possible errors

We have been receiving the first reactions to the announced extension of the EU Safeguard measures on steel since Friday. In the steel consuming downstream industry the biggest indignation is spreading about this political arbitrariness from Brussels. Or what else can you call it when clear facts are deliberately disregarded.

To the article: Outrage over EU Safeguard extension and possible errors

June 14, 2021

Errors in the EU Safeguard justification?

After a first analysis of the EU Safeguard notification to the WTO of June 11, 2021, we found possible errors in the calculation and the justification for the extension.

To the article: Errors in the EU Safeguard justification?

June 12, 2021

EU extends steel safeguard measures

The EU has stated in a notification to the WTO that it intends to extend the EU Safeguard measures for three years. The decision comes amid worsening steel shortages and skyrocketing prices for many steel consumers in the downstream industry.

To the article: EU extends steel safeguard measures

June 11, 2021

Breaking News: EC wants to extend EU Safeguard Measures!

As we have just been informed (June 11, 2021), the European Commission wants to extend the EU Safeguard measures on steel.

To the article: Breaking News: EC wants to extend EU Safeguard Measures!

The EU Safeguard Measures and the Corona Pandemic

The European Union has been particularly battered by the Corona pandemic. Many countries are still caught in a continuous lockdown. Entire economies have been shut down in order to effectively counter this threat.

Downstream industry saves important jobs

Against all odds, the metalworking industry in Europe has managed to restart production, safeguarding important jobs, generating sales and tax revenues.

Unprecedented shortage of materials due to Safeguard

For months, the media has been reporting that the downstream industry is suffering from destroyed supply chains, missing transport containers and an unprecedented shortage of steel and stainless steel materials.

EU steel producers unable to meet demand from processing industry

European steel producers are unable to meet the huge demand of the processing metal industry. Steel and stainless steel prices have been skyrocketing for months and will continue to do so. Steelmakers will probably not be able to supply the European market with sufficient material for months, if not years.

Update, April 23, 2021: HRC price in Europe up to 133% higher

EU prices for HRC (hot-rolled coil) are 133% higher in April 2021 than they were in May 2020. HRC prices have increased by 75% in Europe since December 2020 alone. And currently stand at more than EUR 1,000.00 per metric ton compared to a price of EUR 428.50 per metric ton in May 2020.
Read more >>>

Update, March 23, 2021: Europe: Lead times for certain steel products now in December 2021

Intra-European prices for hot-rolled steel strip rose significantly again in the week of March 15-19, 2021. This is reported by relevant industry media. Prices are driven by strong demand and general material shortages in the EU. In addition, the first lead times for steel in December 2021 are reported.
Read more >>>

Update, March 16, 2021: EUROFER predicts steel shortage and aims to keep hurting EU economy

The metal processing industry in Europe is suffering from an unprecedented steel shortage. For months, the metal industry and its representatives have been pointing this out. But 12 EU member states, in cooperation with the lobby organization of European steel producers EUROFER, continue to try to prevent an improvement of the situation. Now EUROFER itself says that demand in Europe is significantly higher than supply.
Read More >>>

Update, February 26, 2021: EU Commission launches investigation to determine whether steel safeguard measure should be extended

The EU Commission announced today (on February 26, 2021) that it has opened an investigation to determine whether the safeguard measure currently in place on imports of certain steel products should be extended beyond June 30, 2021.
Read more >>>

Update, February 23, 2021: Major European stainless steel mill with delivery times mid to end August 2021

Market sources told us today that a major European stainless steel producer is now at mid-to-late August 2021 delivery times from new production. This means that it can be assumed that the delivery times of the other EU stainless steel mills will also shift more and more towards fall.

Update, February 22, 2021: EU stainless steel mills cannot meet demand on the European market

According to current statements by market participants, EU stainless steel mills cannot meet demand on the European market. The market source said that this bottleneck will continue for at least another 9 months, more likely a year. Before that, there is no end to the shortage at the moment.

Eurofer puts millions of jobs at risk

Nevertheless, the steel mills and their lobby organization Eurofer never tire of lobbying against the downstream industry and its millions of jobs. Millions of jobs that are threatened by the efforts of Eurofer.

Recently, 12 EU member states in cooperation with Eurofer have called for an extension of the EU Safeguard measures. And sent a letter to the EU Commission.

Downstream industry associations stand up against Safeguard

More and more manufacturing companies and their associations, such as the Italian Automobile Association Anfi or Assofermet Acciai, Eurometal, and coalition of EU trade associations representing the interests of downstream steel users consists of ACEA, APPLiA, CECE, CEMA, CEMEP, CLEPA, Orgalim and WindEurope are standing up against this.

EURANIMI (European Association of Non-Integrated Steel, Stainless Steel and Metal Importers, Distributors, Traders and Processors) has also taken a position in this regard and noted that the EU Safeguards must be adapted in view of global economic developments.

EURANIMI executive board member Christophe Lagrange said to S&P Global Platts in a recent statement that while three years ago implementation of the safeguards could be considered “correct… protect our market against the potentially massive quantities that third countries could no longer deliver to the USA,” now the situation has changed.

Also Thorsten Gerber, CEO of Gerber Steel GmbH, an international stainless steel trader based in Germany, wrote a letter to the EU Commission and Vice-President Dombrovskis. In it, Thorsten Gerber urges that the safeguard measures be terminated.

Now ISTA (The International Steel Trade Association) and CAIR (Companies Against Import Restrictions) have also sent letters to the EU Commission.

German Industrieverband Blechumformung calls Safeguards unnecessary: In a statement to the EU Commission, the German Sheet Metal Forming Association (IBU) and the Fachvereinigung Kaltwalzwerke (FVK) are therefore protesting strongly against a possible extension.

The European technology association Orgalim has demanded an end to the EU Safeguard measures in a letter to the European Commission on April 12, 2021, which we were able to view. These would endanger the future of the European economy and more than 11.5 million jobs in the manufacturing sector. And stand on no more to justify basis.

And these are only the ones that have so far managed to defy the loud and polemical voice of the Eurofer. These associations clearly point to the EU Safeguard measures and the problems they have caused. And they demand an end to the Safeguard measures. As soon as possible. Because the economic damage that could otherwise arise, has not yet arrived in the minds of the EU Commission.

7 Key facts regarding EU Safeguard measures

  • Long delivery times from EU steel mills
  • High European steel and stainless steel prices
  • Material shortages for steel and stainless steel in the EU
  • Quota regulations for import volumes
  • 25% anti-dumping duties on steel imports
  • Safeguard import restrictions make procurement difficult
  • Downstream industry bears the extreme additional burden in terms of costs

7 Dangers if Safeguard measures are not terminated

  • Costs will continue to rise for the manufacturing industry
  • Competitiveness suffers due to increased costs
  • Orders worth trillions of euros will go to Asia, for example, instead of Europe
  • Millions of jobs in the metal industry will be lost
  • Urgently needed highly qualified workers migrate to third countries
  • The technological sell-out to Asia, the Arab countries and Africa is continuing
  • Europe loses more and more importance on the world market due to the Safeguard measures

7 Simple solutions for the future

  • End of EU Safeguard measures at the next possible date
  • Reduction of anti-dumping measures on steel and stainless steel products vis-à-vis third countries
  • Strengthening the manufacturing industry in the European Union
  • Safeguarding jobs
  • Shortening delivery times for steel products
  • Close cooperation with the EU’s neighboring countries to boost the economy in the post-Corona period
  • Development of a uniform European and long-term steel strategy which takes into account the needs of all EU member states
EU safeguard measures against imports of steel products

Background: EU safeguard measures against imports of steel products

As part of the European Union’s response to the United States’ decision to impose tariffs on steel products, a Commission investigation was launched in March 2018. The investigation found that imports of steel products into the EU had increased sharply.

Steel producers in the focus of the EU Commission

According to the EU Commission, this poses a serious threat to EU steel producers, who are in a precarious situation due to ongoing overcapacity in the global steel market and an unprecedented number of unfair trade practices by certain trading partners. The restrictions on the U.S. market caused by the Section 232 tariffs on steel are redirecting trade flows to the EU.

Measures were in line with WTO commitments

In the opinion of the EU, these measures were fully consistent with WTO commitments to maintain a steady flow of imports that would ensure effective competition in the European steel market and sufficient choice for the many steel users in the EU.

Measures cover 26 steel product categories

The measures currently cover 26 categories of steel products and consist of tariff rate quotas, above which a 25% tariff rate is applied. The tariff quotas were intended to fully maintain the traditional level of imports into the EU and to be gradually increased.

The supposedly most important EU supplier countries benefited from individual quotas based on their own historical imports.

Safeguard measures to be reviewed in 2021

These measures were to remain in place for a period of up to three years. However, they could be reviewed if circumstances changed. Accordingly, the Safeguard measures would have to expire in 2021. A review by the European Union has been initiated.


EU Commission launches investigation to determine whether steel safeguard measure should be extended

The EU Commission announced today (on February 26, 2021) that it has opened an investigation to determine whether the safeguard measure currently in place on imports of certain steel products should be extended beyond June 30, 2021.

Initiation stems from request by twelve EU member states

The initiation of this investigation follows a duly substantiated request from twelve EU Member States. The Commission’s investigation will determine, in accordance with EU and WTO rules, whether the safeguard measure is still necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury to the EU steel industry and whether the industry is adapting.

Investigation to include assessment of Union interest

The investigation will also include an assessment of the Union interest. The investigation will be completed by the expiry of the existing safeguard measure on June 30, 2021.


Press contact

Gerber Group - Experts for Stainless Steel
Björn Kammeyer
Phone: +49 7642 9282851

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