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Russia to appeal to WTO against EU’s anti-dumping duties

In August 2016, the European Union imposed five-year anti-dumping duties on cold-rolled steel from Russia

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Russia has filed an appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against EU’s anti-dumping duties on Russian cold-rolled steel, according to a note posted on the Economic Development Ministry’s official Facebook account.

"On January 27, 2017 the Russian Federation requested consultations with the European Union within the WTO dispute resolution procedure related to the EU’s anti-dumping measure against Russia’s cold-rolled steel. Multiple violations of WTO regulations made by the European Commission during the anti-dumping investigation were the reason behind the claim," the report said.

In August 2016, the European Union imposed five-year anti-dumping duties on cold-rolled steel from Russia. The sanctions concerned the country’s biggest metal producers (anti-dumping duties amount to 18.7% for MMK, 34% - for Severstal and 36.1% for the rest of companies).

The first stage of the WTO dispute resolution procedure implies consultations aimed at finding mutually acceptable ways to settle the dispute, the Economic Development Ministry said. If the parties fail to find such ways, Russia will request an arbitration group to be formed to consider the issue.

In 2016, the European Commission initiated an antidumping investigation with regard to cold-rolled steel from Russia and China following a complaint filed by the European Steel Association (Eurofer).

Severstal, one of the leading Russian steelmakers, supports the decision to challenge the EU and WTO’s anti-dumping duties, because it finds that the EU probe was conducted with violation of rules of the organization.

"In particular, the calculations were based on the exchange rate at the date of conclusion of the contract, whereas WTO law provides for the use of the rate on the date of sale. As a result, real transactions were concluded at the rate of 70-80 rubles per euro, and the Commission used the rate of 40 rubles per euro. Adjustments to the cost with the wording "no cooperation" (article 18 of the EU Basic regulation on anti-dumping) amounted to 50% of the direct costs on raw materials (taken into account when calculating the dumping margin of Severstal - TASS). However Severstal took active part in the investigation, provided all the necessary documents and received visits of members of the European Commission, as required by the rules," the spokesman with Severstal said.

Severstal understands the intention of the EU authorities to protect their producers, but the decision on cold-rolled steel, according to the company, may be prompted by "not economic, but some other reasons."

"If you make calculations correctly, as required by WTO law, it becomes obvious that there was no dumping on behalf of Severstal," the company’s representative said.

In its turn, NLMK stressed that it is interested only in fair competition on the EU market of cold-rolled steel, where similar products are produced in bigger volumes by European enterprises.

"In this sense, suspecting the company of dumping is as absurd as its absence is obvious," NLMK stated.

MMK representative declined to comment.