Canada Imposes Ban on Russian Aluminium and Steel Imports
Canada Imposes Ban on Russian Aluminium and Steel Imports

Canada Imposes Ban on Russian Aluminium and Steel Imports

  • 13-Mar-2023 4:53 PM
  • Journalist: Patricia Jose Perez

Canada [North America]: Canada has taken a stance against Russia's continued war with Ukraine by banning imports of Aluminium and Steel products from the country. On March 10th, Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced this decision, which was the same day that the US implemented a 200% tariff on Russian Aluminium.

"We continue to do everything we can to cut off or limit the revenue used to fund Putin's illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine," Freeland stated in a statement. "Canada, and our partners, have already sanctioned the Russian Central Bank and capped the price of Russian oil and gas. And now, we are ensuring Putin cannot pay for his war by selling Aluminium and Steel in Canada, in coordination with action taken by the United States today."

Canada has implemented a ban on the import of Aluminium and Steel products from Russia. This ban affects unwrought Aluminium, sheet Aluminium, finished Aluminium products such as containers and household items, iron, non-alloy Steel, semi-finished Steel products and finished Steel products such as tubes and pipes. In 2021, the country imported C$45 million in Aluminium and C$213 million in Steel from Russia.

Canada has seen a significant decrease in Aluminium imports from Russia in 2022. The total imports of unwrought products dropped from over 9,000 metric tonnes (mt) in 2020 and 2021, to 2,500 mt this year.

Canada is one of the world's top producers of primary Aluminium, further reducing its reliance on these imports. Similarly, Canadian Steel imports under HS code 72 from Russia decreased sharply - from over 113,000 mt in 2021 to 36,000 mt this year.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland recently announced plans to impose an outright ban on any Russian-sourced metals imported into Canada, although she did not specify precisely when it would take effect.

Canada has announced that it will follow in the footsteps of the US and introduce trade measures against Russia, including a ban on imports of Russian Steel and Aluminium. This move is in response to the US' February announcement of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which imposed a 200% tariff on Russian Aluminium imports.

The tariffs imposed by the US under Section 232 are also set to include any imported Aluminium products made with Russia-origin Aluminium. Alongside this, the US already applies additional quotas and lower tariff rates on Steel and Aluminium imports from most countries.

The White House declared in February that other countries should consider replicating the same measures. "Any country that imposes a tariff of 200% or more on its imports of Aluminium articles that are products of Russia may be exempt from the tariff imposed by this proclamation (the Section 232 Steel and Aluminium tariffs)."

Canada is already exempt from the US Section 232 tariff on Steel and Aluminium, making it the top exporter of both metals to the US. On April 1st, the US will raise duties on dozens of imported Russian products to 70%. This action comes following the revocation of Russia's permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status last year by the US. These tariffs are applicable to multiple Steel products, ferrous scrap, ferroalloys and pig iron.

The US recently hiked tariffs on goods from Russia to 70%, up from negligible rates to 35%. In addition, a 200% tariff was placed on Aluminium, resulting in a combined 270% tariff on Aluminium imports. US Aluminium imports from Russia in 2022 rose from 180,000 metric tons in 2020, though this is much lower than their peak of 750,000 metric tons in 2016 and 2017.

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