On 6 April 2017 the European Commission decided to impose definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of certain hot-rolled flat products of iron, non-alloy or other alloy steel originating in the People’s Republic of China. Hot-rolled flat steel is commonly used for the production of steel tubes to be used in construction, and for shipbuilding, gas containers, cars, pressure vessels, and energy pipelines.

The investigation that led to the imposition of the duties started on 13 February 2016, following a complaint lodged by the European Steel Association on behalf of producers representing more than 90% of the total Union production of certain hot-rolled flat products of iron, non-alloy or other alloy steel. After the investigation, on 7 October 2016, the Commission imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on imports into the Union of certain hot-rolled flat products of iron, non-alloy or other alloy steel whether or not in coils (including ‘cut-to-length’ and ‘narrow strip’ products), not further worked than hot-rolled, not clad, plated or coated originating in the People’s Republic of China by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1778.

The Commission’s investigation confirmed that the products at issue had been sold in Europe at heavily dumped prices. The new antidumping duties range between 18.1% and 35.9% and are higher than the provisional measures already in place since October 2016.

The new measures are designed to protect European steel producers from the damaging effects of Chinese dumping during an initial period of five years. The European Union currently has an unprecedented number of trade defence measures in place regarding unfair exports of steel products from third countries, with a total of 41 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures, 18 of which are on products originating from China.