At European level, there are well-known organisations efficiently lobbying for the interests of steel mills and producers of aluminium. End users are also strongly represented within the EU. The “middle of the supply chain” has however been absent from the debates for too long.
As a result, in our world of stainless steel and aluminium, numerous international trade barriers have been erected by the EU in the last few years: anti-dumping measures, anti-subsidy measures, safeguard measures, Tariff Rate Quotas following the Brexit and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, not to mention the questionable customs treatment subsequent to reports issued by the EU’s European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). Finding one’s way through all these bureaucratic and ever changing regulations has become an enormous challenge for importers, distributors, traders, processors, and manufacturers who move in a more and more complex, costly and worst of all, unpredictable, import environment.