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Russian steelmaker: Introduction of EU duties on Russian steel violation of WTO rules

February 12, 12:59 UTC+3
On February 12, the European Union imposed duties on cold-rolled steel from Russia and China for 6 months after an anti-dumping investigation
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© Pyotr Kovalyov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. The introduction of the European Union duties on steel from Russia is a direct violation of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, official representative of Severstal told TASS Friday.

On February 12, the European Union imposed duties on cold-rolled steel from Russia and China for 6 months after an anti-dumping investigation. Annual volumes of cold-rolled steel supplies to the EU from Russia are estimated at roughly $280 mln.

According to the company’s representative, applying the EU basic anti-dumping regulation (regarding non-cooperation) to Severstal allowed the EU Commission to calculate preliminary prohibitive duty, which directly violates Anti-Dumping Agreement of the WTO.

Preliminary duties were set at 19.8% for Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK), at 25.34% for Severstal, and 26.2% for Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK).

According to the company’s representative, applying the EU basic anti-dumping regulation (regarding non-cooperation) to Severstal allowed the EU Commission to calculate preliminary prohibitive duty, which directly violates Anti-Dumping Agreement of the WTO.

The press service of Severstal noted that the company is going to continue to participate in the investigation, and will file a complaint against the EU Commission actions after the final decision.

"During the investigation, the company actively cooperated with the European Commission. All anti-dumping questionnaires from manufacturers and traders to suppliers of raw materials were completed and submitted within the established deadlines. Verification visits at the company's enterprises were organized and carried out. The European Commission has rejected additional information and inspection offered by Severstal," the representative of the metallurgical company said.

Under an objective and unbiased investigation, the company's data showed no evidence of dumping, Severstal noted.

NLMK representative told TASS that introduction of duties leads to a reduction of competition in the European market and, consequently, a possible rise in prices for cold-rolled steel. "Such situation could potentially have a positive impact on the rolling enterprise of NLMK Europe, which are currently underutilized. NLMK Group capacities for the production of cold-rolled products in Europe amount to about 850,000 tonnes," NLMK press-service said.

"Moreover, we insist that the EU decision is wrong. All the arguments and the facts of the Russian side were ignored; incorrect basic data was used in the course of the investigation. The company is going to continue to insist on an objective proceeding, so this error could be corrected," NLMK representative said.

NLMK Group supplies cold-rolled steel from Russia to Europe at market prices, including their rolling assets to the EU for further processing. The company is going to continue to supply the European customers, fulfilling their contract obligations, NLMK press-service said.

The representative of MMK also noted that the plant is going to use all legal means to challenge the decision on duties. "The deliveries are provided at market prices, in strict accordance with the international law," the representative said.

The anti-dumping investigation in respect of cold-rolled steel from Russia and China was initiated by the European Commission at the request of the European Steel Association (Eurofer).

Deliveries from Russia, China and Ukraine make up about 60% of the total steel imports to the European Union.

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