Quotas for Swiss steel imports into the EU

The EU Commission has taken provisional protective measures for certain steel products. 23 categories of goods are subject to new import quotas. These measures of the European Union also affect products of Swiss origin.

The EU’s provisional protective measures have been in force since July 19, 2018
The EU’s provisional protective measures have been in force since July 19, 2018

With the Implementing Regulation, the EU Commission has decided to issue provisional protective measures on imports of steel products from July 19, 2018. This affects 23 categories of products that will be subject to tariff quotas for 200 days from the entry into force of the Regulation. The following products are among those affected by the quotas:

  • Sheets and strips of non-alloy steel or other alloy steel, hot-rolled
  • Sheets of non-alloy steel or other alloy steel, cold-rolled
  • Sheets with organic coating 
  • Tinplate products
  • Reinforcing bars
  • Bars and light profiles made of stainless steel
  • Support tubes
  • Non-alloy steel wire

All the product categories concerned, and the corresponding CN codes have been listed by the EU in Annex 1 to the Implementing Regulation

First come, first served

The European Union also states: “Where the relevant tariff quota is exhausted or where imports of the product categories do not benefit from the relevant tariff quota, an additional duty at the rate of 25% shall be levied. That additional duty shall apply to the customs value of the product being imported.” The quotas will be implemented on a first-come, first-served basis. This means that the imports will be sorted by the dates on which the declarations of release into the EU are accepted by the competent customs authorities of the EU Member States. The quotas on certain steel products also affect products of Swiss origin. Exceptions, on the other hand, apply to goods originating in Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

The European Union had already decided to investigate protective measures for steel imports on March 26, 2018. After completion of these investigations, the EU is expected to decide by the end of 2018 on the introduction of the definitive protective measures. The EU is reacting to US tariffs on steel and aluminum products.

Further information on the impact of EU protective measures on Swiss companies can be found on the website of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO.

Additional tariffs on US products

The European Union had also earlier decided to introduce additional tariffs on US products. The new import duties for US goods have been in effect since June 21, 2018, and concern products such as corn, fruit juice, tobacco, bed linen, steel, iron and screws. More information can be found here.


Do you have questions about EU protective tariffs and their impact on your company? Contact our ExportHelp team by phone at 0844 811 812, by email or via chat on our website. You are guaranteed an initial response within 24 hours. There is no charge for any inquiries that can be answered immediately or need only a maximum of one hour’s research.


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