Retaliatory duties on US imports introduced

Importing from the USA now leads to higher tariffs. Companies involved in importing from the USA should therefore pay attention now. The EU has now adopted a new customs regulation on 21.06.2018. By Regulation 2018/886, the EU imposes retaliatory duties on products listed in Annexes I and II to the Regulation if they originate in the United States of America. The EU’s retaliatory tariffs in the trade dispute with the USA will take effect as early as 22.06.2018 and apply to a large number of goods.

On 16.05.2018 the European Union had already laid the foundation stone for being able to import higher customs duties on goods from the USA.

New customs duties on imports from the USA

Firstly, additional ad valorem duties of 10 % and 25 % respectively shall apply to imports of the products listed in Annex I from 22.06.2018. Higher duties will also enter into force at a later date on the products listed in Annex II.

In particular, EU companies should now ensure the correct tariffing of their products by means of binding tariff information and compare in the ERP system whether they import goods from the USA covered by the aforementioned annexes of Regulation No 2018/724 or Regulation No 2018/886.

EU retaliatory tariffs against the US are legal

The EU should act fully in accordance with WTO rules, as exact countermeasures will be imposed. EU tariffs are expected to remain in force as long as the US maintains its tariffs.

In response to US tariffs on aluminium and steel, the EU had already announced in Regulation 2018/724 that it would impose further tariffs on US products. However, this does not affect the aluminium and steel sectors, but a large number of completely different products from the United States. The EU initially reserved the right to determine in its own implementing regulation which goods are subject to an additional duty of up to 25% on imports into the EU. This could be waived from 20.06.2018. This is the case with the new regulation.

Other measures could also be taken by the Commission. The current measures are based on Regulation No 654/2014. In addition to the additional tariffs imposed, this allows a large number of measures, such as the suspension of tariff concessions and the introduction of new or higher tariffs, the introduction of import licences and quotas or the exclusion of foreign suppliers from tenders. It is conceivable that further measures will be taken on the basis of Regulation No 654/2014.

If the Commission considers it appropriate, it may amend this Regulation to take account of any changes in US safeguard measures, such as the exclusion of certain goods or companies. It is therefore essential to monitor current developments.

O&W Attorneys at Law advise you on imports from the USA and the newly introduced customs duties.

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Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

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