Steels imported from Vietnam will also be under investigation.
The investigated product categories include alloy hot rolled sheets and strips, organic coated steel, stainless cold rolled sheets and strips, and metallic coated sheets.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade on Friday said the safeguard investigation was being initiated, because the imports of certain steel products have increased sharply recently, necessitating safeguard measures.
According to EC, the information currently available with the commission indicates that the total imports of the products increased from 17.8 million tons to 29.3 million tons in the 2013-17 period.
Similarly, imports of the products increased by some 65 per cent between 2013 and
2016. The main increases took place in 2015 and especially in 2016, when they reached 28.6 million tons. The imports of the products have remained at a significant level thereafter.
The commission also noted that the total imports of the products increased in relative terms as well, from 7.3 per cent to 11.6 per cent, in terms of production, and from 12.2 per cent to 17.6 per cent, in terms of consumption.
In both instances, the increases manifested themselves during the 2014-16 period, after which imports remained at a relatively high level. The increase in imports appear to be the result of unforeseen developments, such as the global overcapacity in steel making and the trade measures adopted by a series of third-world countries in the past years in the context of that global overcapacity.
The investigation will determine whether, as a result of the unforeseen developments, the products concerned are being imported into the union in such greatly increased quantities and/or on such terms or conditions as to cause, or threaten to cause, serious injury to the union producers of like or directly competing products, the EC said.
The results of the investigation could lead to the imposition of a new tax or promulgation of quota for exporting countries to protect EU steel producers against the possible fierce competition from imported products.
The investigation will be implemented within nine months. Temporary measures will be approved in a short-term, if they are necessary.>
The EU has imposed the general system of preferences of zero per cent for all steel products imported from Vietnam while applying anti-dumping tariffs on some steel products from China.