As of November 30, 2021, a number of retaliatory measures have been suspended by the European Commission with regard to certain products originating in the US, based on Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/2083. These measures were initially introduced on June 20, 2018, in response to US import tariffs on steel and aluminium originating from the EU. The US has meanwhile announced on October 31, 2021 that it will lift these measures under tariff rate quotas effective as of January 1, 2022. The European Commission has in turn decided to suspend the corresponding additional ad valorem duties on certain products from the US until December 31, 2023. The EU already suspended measures in this respect with effect from 1 December 2021. The Commission believes that this suspension should allow the EU and the US to make significant progress in their ongoing collaborations. However, it maintains its position that the US safeguard measures currently in force are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement.
In any case, the suspensions are good news for importers in the EU. First of all, the additional ad valorem duties of the products listed in Annex II to Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/886 remain suspended. In addition, the additional ad valorem duties of the products listed in Annex I to this Regulation will also be suspended as of January 1, 2022. Furthermore, the application of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/502 (see related blog) will be suspended as of January 1, 2022. The additional ad valorem duties Valorem duty of 4.4% on the import of playing cards, however, will continue to apply until at least February 8, 2023. All suspensions mentioned above apply until December 31, 2023, according the implementing regulation. In light of the foregoing it is imperative for operators to declare correct customs classification codes in order to ensure that any such measures apply only where appropriate.