After the US imposed additional duties on EU goods, the EU could soon adopt countermeasures. As early as 20.06.2018, additional duties of 25% are threatening on US goods imported into the EU. Entrepreneurs with business relations with the US should have it examined whether they are affected by the EU’s countermeasures and how they can adapt to them.
Additional duties on US goods as an EU defensive measure
The exemption of US duties on EU steel and aluminium products has not been extended. The US justifies the legality of these duties on the grounds that they are necessary for reasons of national security. However, the EU considers US tariffs to be incompatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO) law.
WTO law provides for the possibility of countermeasures in the event of illegal customs duties. As one such countermeasure, the EU has already announced that it will impose additional duties of 25% on US products. The formal procedures for these additional duties are already under way, so that they could already be levied from 20.06.2018.
Products covered by the EU countermeasures
The European Commission will adopt an implementing regulation to determine which goods will be subject to an additional duty of 25% on imports into the EU. In particular, certain agricultural and food products, steel, iron and aluminium products, tobacco products, care products and clothing, motorcycles and boats could be affected. The EU additional duties could therefore cover in particular Chapters 07, 10, 19, 20, 22, 24, 33, 61 to 64, 72, 73, 76, 87, 89 and 95.
Entrepreneurs should be prepared for additional duties
Even if EU countermeasures are to be taken by the US, European companies also face considerable economic losses. Companies importing goods from the US into the EU should therefore seek early assessment of whether they are affected by EU countermeasures and whether they may need to adapt their business practices.