Steel trade

Steel trade mostly covers the following issues

  • Bilateral agreements that regulate steel trade between the European Union and third countries.
  • Multilateral agendas/developments (WTO) and situation in the steel market.
  • Improving market entry and enhancing the competitiveness.

Once the Lisbon Agreement enters into force, the issues of steel trade will be also discussed by the European Council’s Steel, Textiles and Other Industrial Sectors (STIS) expert committee and the European Commission’s Steel Liaison Committee (SLC).

The European Commission has recently focused on the work done by the Market Access Advisory Committee (MAAC), discussing specific market entry related problems and searching solutions for these problems in special working groups.

For Estonia, it is important to observe that new agreements concluded will maintain our traditional trading volumes, and that the quota will be sufficient for our enterprises while also matching the construction and manufacturing sector requirements.

Steel trade

Steele trade

Import of steel products in the European Union 

The European Union imposes quantitative restrictions or quota on certain steel products, originating from certain third countries, which will include double control system for these products.

Members states will be required to issue an import authorisation for goods that are placed in free circulation.

The European Union export authorisations, quota and surveillance, conducted within the framework of double checks, are administrated electronically by means of an integrated SIGL system – Système Intégré de Gestion des Licences. The SIGL website allows monitoring information about the country of origin of the products, amount of quota and their use and fulfilment.

Steele trade with Kazakhstan

The European Union has entered into a bilateral agreement on trade of steel with Kazakhstan, laying down limits or quota on certain steel products that are allowed to be imported to the territory of the European Union for being place in free circulation.

It is important to keep in mind that once Kazakhstan becomes a member of the WTO, the agreement will be reviewed and the WTO quota will be no longer applied.

The following documents regulate the trade with Kazakhstan:
  • Partnership and co-operation agreement between the European Communities and the Republic of Kazakhstan that entered into force in July 1999.
  • Council Regulation (EC) No 1340/2008 of 8 December 2008 on trade in certain steel products between the European Community and the Republic of Kazakhstan, which lays down autonomous measures (quota) from 2009 until the entry into force of the bilateral agreement. These quota cover products, specified in Annex I of Council Regulation (EC) No 1340/2008 and quota volumes from Annex V.

Application for quota and issue of import authorisation 

Application for quota and issue of import authorisation takes place as follows:

Third country enterprise will contact a national authority or institution with an application to be issued an export licence, which will be based on a business transaction between the exporting country and an European Union member state enterprise. Standard export licence will be issued against the undertaking’s application; one licence will only cover one product group/category, covered by quota. The competent authority keeps account of quantities, exported under export licence, as export licences will only be issued within the scope of the quota volume.

The importer will be required to submit, with the application for export authorisation, the original of the export authorisation to the competent governmental authority of the member state of its location.

The competent governmental authority of the member state will only issue the export licence after having received a confirmation from the European Commission that the import quota of the category of goods concerned is not exhausted yet. The European Commission will thus check whether the imported quantity will fit within the limits of the quota. The Commission will therefore satisfy the applications of member states, observing the “first come, first served” principle, in chronological order, depending on how the member states have notified the European Commission of the need to have an export authorisation issued.

If the answer is positive, the competent governmental authority of the member state will issue the standard export authorisation within five working days after the submission of the original of the export licence and the application.

The import authorisations shall be valid for six months from the date of their issue. Upon duly motivated request by an importer, the competent governmental authorities of a member state may extend the duration of validity for two further periods of three months. Such extensions shall be notified to the Commission.

The import authorizations shall be valid throughout the territory of the European Union.

Importers are not required to import the quantities, covered by the authorisation, as a single batch.

Importer will be required to return to the competent governmental authority that supplied the authorisation within 10 working days as of its date of expiry.

Application for import authorisation 

The application will be completed in capital letters.

Application for import authorisation »

Guidelines (the number stands for the field in application, bearing the same number):

  1. To be completed by the authorisation applicant. Only the enterprises that the goods are addressed to will be shown as the applicant. The name and telephone number of the contract person must be definitely given..
  2. To be completed by the competent governmental authority (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications).
  3. To be completed by the applicant. Period covered by the quota (i.e. the year for sending the goods).
  4. Competent governmental authority, that the application will be sent to.
  5. Contact information of the owner of the goods or representative of the applicant, where appropriate.
  6. Address of the exporter is mandatory.
  7. Country of origin is the country of production.
  8. Sending country is the country sending the goods to the EU.
  9. Name or trade description of the goods.
  10. In case of steel products, letter F (first) must be given after the CN code, in case of a high-quality material, letter S (second) in case of grade two or used material. 
  11. The quantity that the authorisation is applied for, in units, used to establish the quota (pieces, kilograms etc.). Net weight must be shown for steel products.
  12. Number of product category (only one category for application). Number of export licence and date of issue will be not required when applying for import authorisation for autonomous quota, established by the EU.
  13. Value of goods in euros. In case of steel products and surveillance documents, indicate the CIF value on EU customs border.
  14. Confirmation stating that the information submitted is correct, given by the applicant (or his/her representative). 

Additional documents

  • Original of the export licence or export document will be added to the application.

Submission of application

  • On paper

    The completed authorisation application must be set to the Register Division of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications at 11 Harju Street, 15072 Tallinn.

  • In an electronic form
    Digitally signed application must be sent to the following e-mail address info [at]


Last updated: 2 June 2014