On 26 April 2018, the Official Journal published Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/640 of 25 April 2018 introducing prior Union surveillance of imports of certain aluminium products originating in certain third countries. The Regulation seeks to address the problem of significant oversupply of aluminium from the PRC and section 232 action by the United States. These activities may lead to substantial trade diversion and price depression on the Union market.

The release for free circulation in the Union of certain aluminium products listed in Annex I to the Regulation shall be subject to prior Union surveillance in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2015/478 and Regulation (EU) 2015/755. This applies to imports whose net weight exceeds 2 500 kg established for each individual tariff and statistical nomenclature of the Union (‘TARIC’) code subject to prior surveillance.

Products to which surveillance applies shall be put into free circulation in the Union only on production of a surveillance document issued by the competent authority designated by a Member State. The surveillance document (valid for four months) shall be issued automatically by the competent authorities in the Member States, free of charge and for any quantities requested, within five working days of the presentation of an application by any importer into the Union, wherever it may be established in the Union. Unused or partly used surveillance documents may be renewed for an equal period.

A finding that the unit price at which the transaction is effected varies from that indicated in the surveillance document by less than 5 % in either direction or that the total quantity of the products presented for import exceeds the quantity given in the surveillance document by less than 5 % shall not preclude the release for free circulation of the products in question.

Applications for surveillance documents and the documents themselves shall be confidential. They shall be restricted to the competent authorities and the applicant.

The classification of the products covered by the Regulation is based on TARIC. The origin of the products covered by this Regulation shall be determined in accordance with Article 60 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

Products originating in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are exempted from the obligation set out above.

List of products subject to prior Union surveillance: 7601, 7604, 7605, 7606, 7607, 7608, 7609 and 7616.99.

Countries listed in Regulation (EU) 2015/755 of the European Parliament and of the Council: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.