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New Year, New Duty Savings: TRQ For EU Steel and Aluminum Takes Effect  

As expected, on January 1, 2022, the additional Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union (EU) were replaced with a new Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ).  
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The TRQ is the result of an October 2021 agreement between the US and the EU to remove the 25% additional tariffs on steel and 10% additional tariffs on aluminum pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which have been in effect since June 2018.

The US Department of Commerce had previously released guidance on the operation of the TRQ, including a list of TRQ volumes permitted by country and product group, annual TRQ categories by HTSUS subheading, quota category, and EU member state, and a list of granted exclusions that will be automatically extended through 2023.

This week, the President and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published additional guidance regarding the functioning of the TRQ. First, two Presidential Proclamations implementing the steel and aluminum TRQs were published in the Federal Register. The Proclamations include an “Annex” with the various product groupings covered by the TRQ, which have each been assigned a new subheading in subchapter Ill of chapter 99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Second, CBP published specific guidance on the operation of the 2022 steel and aluminum TRQs. CBP has also posted quota amounts for each quota category and country for the first two quarters under the steel TRQ, and the first year under the aluminum TRQs. The first quarter of the TRQ opened on January 3, 2022 at 12:01 am.

The aluminum quota will be administered in two half-year periods, with the first half of the year comprising 60% of the overall quota. The steel quota will be administered quarterly, with each quarter assigned 25% of the annual quota amount. Going forward, the quotas will be processed daily, Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. For shipments to be processed for quota on the same day, the entry summary must be filed, and the payment date must be on file or scheduled and the conveyance arrived by 4:30 pm in the port’s local time zone.

Third, with regard to the renewal of exclusions, the CBP guidance states that “exclusions renewed by the December 27, 2021 Presidential Proclamation are valid for the volume and period listed in the renewal information provided to importers by [Commerce].” The CBP bulletin and Proclamations further provide the following key details regarding Section 232 exclusions:

  • Certain eligible exclusions granted between October 1, 2020 and September 20, 2021 (FY 2021) will be automatically renewed for a 2 year period ending December 31, 2023;
  • The volume limits for renewed exclusions will be equal to that actually imported under each exclusion from each specific EU country during FY 2021;
  • Commerce will inform CBP and importers of the available volumes allowed;
  • Entries of steel covered by valid exclusions will not count toward calculations of future quarterly limits, or toward annual country limits under the steel TRQ;
  • The renewals do not alter or modify in any way the ability of importers/purchasers to seek additional exclusions or to use exclusions granted outside the FY 2021 period.

Our International Trade and Investment team will continue to monitor implementation and operation of the EU TRQ in the new year to identify duty savings opportunities for importers of steel and aluminum products from the EU. 

If you would like more information, please contact any Arent Fox trade group member listed below.

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