During the lockdown, the trade war continues: additional European customs duties on certain American products

On January 24, 2020, the United States adopted safeguard measures in the form of an increase in customs duties on imports of certain aluminum products and certain steel products, effective February 8, 2020 for an unlimited period.

According to the Union, although classified as security measures by the United States, these measures constitute safeguard measures. The security exceptions in the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade do not apply to such measures.

The WTO agreement authorizes retaliation by the exporting country under these conditions, if a satisfactory solution could not be found during the consultations and if the suspension does not give rise to any objection from the Council for Trade in Goods from the WTO.

The consultations between the United States and the Union having failed to find a satisfactory solution, the Union adopted measures to: Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/502 of 6 April 2020, the Union has decided to apply, in stages, additional customs duties on imports into the Union of the products listed below, originating in the United States:

CN code

Additional ad valorem duty

1st stage: from May 8, 2020

9613 80 00

20 %

3926 30 00

7 %

2d stage: from February 8, 2023 (or the 5th day following a WTO decision)

9504 40 00

4,4 %

The Union will apply the additional customs duties as long as the United States applies or re-applies its safeguard measures in a way that may affect products from the Union.