Sanctions on Russian iron and steel

From October 2023, the UK and EU are introducing sanctions on Russian iron and steel. Find out how this affects you as an importer in the UK, or exporter to the EU, in this article.

Which goods are affected by the sanctions on Russian iron and steel?

Products that contain Russia-originating iron and steel are prohibited from entering the UK, and using country code “RU” on your import clearance will mean automatic rejection for these goods. The main tariff codes affected are those of chapters 72 and 73, which cover iron and steel as raw materials and as manufactured articles.

However, checking that your goods are not classified as Russia-originating is not enough as the sanctions on Russian iron and steel also cover processing to avoid circumnavigation. In other words, your processed articles of iron and steel must not have been manufactured using Russian iron and steel – regardless of the new origin or preferential origin that the processing has resulted in.

For example, Russian steel that is manufactured into steel rods in India may have Indian origin, but will contain Russia-originating steel and will be prohibited from import into the UK. Even if the rods are processed further into wire in a third county and the commodity code or origin changes again, there is still Russian steel involved in the supply chain and this is prohibited. 

Proving origin as an importer of iron and steel goods

You must submit a Mill Test Certificate (MTC) with information regarding the origin of your steel and iron. A certificate of origin is not accepted, and neither are preferential documents such as a GSP or EUR1 as these can be legally generated during the processing of raw materials into semi-finished and finished artices.

For semi-finished products, your MTC must contain:

– The name of the production facility.
– The country associated with the smelting of the materials.
– At least the first six digits of the commodity code.

For finished products, you will also need to include details of processing:

– The name of the facility and country where goods were rolled, coated, welded, pierced, extruded, or otherwise processed, as well as details of the processing completed.

It is important that you do your due diligence with suppliers if you are importing products of iron and steel into the UK.

UK exporters to the EU, you also need to beware!

In addition to importers needing these documents, you also need to have these in place when exporting to the EU. The UK is now a third-country to the European Union, and the sanctions on Russian iron and steel will also be applied to goods moving from the UK to the EU. Ensure that you are checking with your suppliers to avoid any issues.

Need customs clearance on goods that aren’t affected by sanctions on Russian iron and steel?

Universal Customs Clearance provides import and export customs clearance at all major UK ports. If your goods aren’t illegal due to the sanctions on Russian iron and steel, contact us for more information



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