Backgrounder: Government approach on the administration policies of steel safeguard tariff rate quotas

Responses to the questionnaire will inform the allocation policy for the steel safeguard tariff rate quotas (TRQs) for heavy plate and stainless steel wire beginning on February 1, 2020, and ending on October 24, 2021.

Background on current steel safeguard TRQs

Following a Canadian International Trade Tribunal report issued on April 3, 2019, final steel safeguard TRQs were implemented on heavy plate and stainless steel wire products on May 13, 2019. The steel safeguard TRQs are import mechanisms whereby a set amount of specific product may be imported without being subject to a surtax. Imports into Canada require shipment-specific permits issued by Global Affairs Canada in order to not be subject to a surtax. Any quantity imported in excess of the TRQ quantities may be imported into Canada through General Import Permit No. 80 or General Import Permit No. 81, but would be subject to the appropriate surtax.

TRQ allocations are granted to eligible applicants. The current allocation period, which extends from June 3, 2019, to January 31, 2020, creates 2 pools:

  1. an allocation pool, under which allocations were issued to eligible applicants based on their historical import activities during the reference period from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018
  2. a residual pool, under which the remaining TRQ quantities were made available on a first-come, first-served basis to applicants that did not receive an allocation

The current allocation policy includes a return mechanism under which allocation holders who will not use their allocation during the applicable allocation period may return all or part of their allocation by December 2, 2019 (i.e. 2 months prior to the end of the applicable allocation period). Any returned quantity will be made available to eligible permit applicants to import products within the applicable allocation period.

TRQ periods and quantities

The Order Amending the Order Imposing a Surtax on the Importation of Certain Steel Goods establishes 3 quota periods during which a certain volume may be imported into Canada at a zero rate of duty:

TRQ periods and quantities
Quota periodAllocation periodTRQ quantities.
Year 1May 13, 2019, to January 31, 2020Heavy plate: 72,404,667 kg
Stainless steel wire: 2,027,667 kg
February 1, 2020, to May 12, 2020Heavy plate: 27,595,333 kg
Stainless steel wire: 772,333 kg
Year 2May 13, 2020, to May 12, 2021Heavy plate: 110,000,000 kg
Stainless steel wire: 3,080,000 kg
Year 3May 13, 2021, to October 24, 2021Heavy plate: 54,699,000 kg
Stainless steel wire: 1,532,000 kg

TRQ quantities from one quota period are not transferable to a subsequent quota period.

Refer to the Order Imposing a Surtax on the Importation of Certain Steel Goods (SOR/2018-206) for further details on the safeguard measures.

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