The EU introduced, on 15 March 2022, a number of additional sanctions measures including in particular on the direct or indirect import of certain iron and steel products if they originate in or have been exported from Russia.
Full details of the sanctioned iron and steel items are set in Annex XVII to the applicable amending regulations (being Council Regulation (EU) 2022/248, available here).
It is estimated, in accordance with the European Commission’s (“EC“) press release on the new measures (available here), that the ban on steel products currently under EU safeguard measures will amount to approximately € 3.3 billion in lost export revenue for Russia. In order to compensate, increased import quotas will be distributed to other third countries.
Additionally the EU, together with World Trade Organisation (“WTO“) members, agreed to deny Russian products and services most favoured nation treatment in EU markets, consequently suspending the notable benefits that Russia receives as a WTO member. This measure clears the way for the introduction of outright import bans on Russian goods, as well as punitive tariffs.