Fasteners are essential elements for a vast variety of industries, from simple screws in “do-it-yourself” kits to high-end applications in the car, aviation and electrical industries. The EU fasteners industry is worth €3.2 billion, with one tenth imported from China. EU producers of fasteners, who are mostly SMEs, employ more than 20,000 people across Europe in countries such as Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Sweden and Spain.

The European Union is imposing tariffs on imports of steel fasteners from China on the basis that they are being sold at artificially low prices, the EU official journal stated. The European Union has published the Implementing Regulation (EU 2022/91) that applies definitive anti-dumping duties of up to 86.5% on imports of certain iron or steel fasteners in the People’s Republic of China.

The regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union February 17th, 2022 and went into effect the following day February 18th, 2022.

Tariffs of between 22.1% and 86.5% will apply on Chinese imports of the product that ranges from simple screws to high-end applications for the automotive, aviation and electrical sectors.

The definitive anti-dumping duties are imposed on imports of certain fasteners of iron or steel, other than of stainless steel, i.e. wood screws (excluding coach screws), self-tapping screws, other screws and bolts with heads (whether or not with their nuts or washers, but excluding screws and bolts for fixing railway track construction material), and washers originating in the People’s Republic of China, currently classified under CN codes 7318.12.90, 7318.14.91, 7318.14.99, 7318.15.58, 7318.15.68, 7318.15.82, 7318.15.88, 7318.15.95, 7318.21.00, 7318.22.00

The regulation also confirms that retrospective duties are not applicable. Customs authorities have been directed to discontinue the registration of imports established in accordance with Article 1 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021-970, which is repealed. This means no definitive anti-dumping duty will be levied retroactively for registered imports. Data collected in accordance with Article 1 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021-970 shall no longer be kept.

The anti-dumping measures imposed will re-establish a level playing field by taking away the unfair competition caused by the price dumping, allowing EU producers of fasteners to compete in the EU market on an equal footing with the imported fasteners. This will ensure that there is continued and healthy production in the EU of fasteners of all ranges, including those used in high tech sectors like the automotive and car industries. 

The anti-dumping measures imposed will have a limited impact on EU users of fasteners. For the vast majority, fasteners represent only a minor part of the total cost of their final product. A shortage of fasteners is also not expected following the introduction of measures, since the EU industry has a large spare production capacity.