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US introduces melt and pour for aluminium
US introduces melt and pour for aluminium

1 June 2022 – The US government has announced “melt and pour” rules for aluminium imports from the UK to fall under the Section 232 Tariffs and Tariff Rate Quota exemptions. What about Japan and Europe? And the UK imposes provisional anti-dumping duties on aluminium from China of up to 128.17%.

US introduces Melt and Pour for aluminium

The United States has proclaimed Section 232 Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQ) on aluminium imports from the UK, effective 1 June 2022. And dropped a bombshell in the process.

Primary aluminium banned from China, Russia and Belarus

The semi-finished wrought aluminium articles originating from the UK that are to be exempt from the Section 232 Tariffs will have to prove that they do not include primary aluminium from the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, or the Republic of Belarus.

In 2019, the UK still sourced more than 33% of its aluminium imports (primary & secondary) from China and Russia combined, according to statistical data.

Melt and pour rules so far only for steel

The US government is thus continuing to expand the Melt and Pour (MaP) rules that were already agreed in the trade deals between the European Union, Japan and the UK with regard to tariff quotas for steel imports into the United States, which stipulate that these must be 100% MaP in the respective countries of origin. This is the US government’s attempt to stop hidden Chinese steel imports and to undermine the Country of Origin rules.

We speculate: Is the EU Safeguard measure on aluminium now coming?

Now that the UK has already received conditions for the import of aluminium into the United States, we are asking ourselves whether TRQs will also apply to the EU27 and Japan with regard to products from primary aluminium originating in China, Russia and Belarus.

EU27 and Japan still without melt and pour condition

There are signs of this. Besides the British and the Europeans, the US also has Argentina, Australia, Canada and Mexico in Proclamation 9704 “Adjusting Imports of Aluminum Into the United States”. So far, agreement has only been reached with Japan on steel. Aluminium is still pending. And this issue is also likely to be renegotiated for the EU at the next opportunity.

Inappropriate diversion of trade flows?

By excluding Chinese and Russian primary aluminium, trade flows are diverted in a similar way as with steel. Recently, the European Commission announced its intention to reinstate the suspended anti-dumping measure against flat-rolled aluminium products from China (AD668) on 12 July 2022. Knowing full well that this condition would be imposed on the UK by the US.

Is the EU Safeguard measure on aluminium now coming?

The question that arises is whether the European Commission is now possibly planning to counter Chinese, but also Russian aluminium imports with its own Safeguard measure?

UK: Guarantee and provisional anti-dumping duties on aluminium from China

The UK Department for International Trade has accepted the Trade Remedies Authority’s (TRA) recommendation to require importers to provide a guarantee for certain aluminium extrusions from China.

Importers of these products must provide a bank guarantee to HMRC while this provisional remedy is in force.

At the same time, provisional anti-dumping duties were announced for certain aluminium extrusions from China.

Imports from the Chinese companies listed in the notice of initiation which cooperated in the trade defence investigation will be subject to duties ranging from 9.50% to 22.35%. All other Chinese exporters will be subject to a duty rate of 128.17%.

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