Tariff Measures and Trade Defense

The main purpose of trade policy is to reduce/eliminate trade barriers.

INTRODUCTION. Suspensions and Tariff Quotas
The main purpose of trade policy is to reduce/eliminate trade barriers.

Trade barriers include all measures that restrict international trade. Within the trade barriers, the Common Customs Tariff is one of trade policy instruments to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the industry of the European Union.

The dependence of the European and Spanish industry on the supply of raw materials is constantly growing. Community operators rely on 80% of imported inputs to carry out productive work, and the price of many basic raw materials for the European chemical industry is growing. Therefore, access to raw materials in better economic conditions is a key element for the competitiveness of the Spanish chemical industry.

In this regard, the European Union can adopt, autonomously, temporary and non-discriminatory, suspensions and tariff quotas with the aim of improving the competitiveness of community firms, allowing them the use of supplies with total or partial exemption from normal customs duties on raw materials, semi-finished goods or components not existing in the Community (suspensions) or in insufficient quantities (quotas).

The legal basis for regulating these suspensions and quotas is the Communication from the Commission concerning autonomous tariff suspensions and quotas (2011/C 363/02).

Autonomous Tariff Suspensions

Measure of commercial policy, allowing the exemption of tariffs on imported inputs when there is no Community production.

Autonomous Tariff Quotas

The EU, is an autonomous and non-discriminatory way, can establish autonomous tariff quotas. It is a measure of trade policy, which allows the total or partial exemption from the payment of tariffs on inputs imported within quantitative limits.

The tariff quota is warranted when there is sufficient community production to meet the demands of industry.

Request for Suspensions and Tariff Quotas
Requests for suspensions and tariff quotas must be submitted to the General Sub-Directorate of Tariff Policy and Trade Defence Instruments. Its management is carried out by the Department of Customs and Special Taxes. Any communication and request of information can be via email:

sgpar.sscc@comercio.mineco.es (with copy to: internacional@feique.org )

The form of requests submission must follow to the model of form adopted for all the Member States and collected as follows:

  (41 kb) Request for Tariff Suspension 

  (41 kb) Request for Tariff Quota

Request deadlines for Suspensions and Tariff Quotas
The dates recommended for the reception of applications from the Spanish Administration for the two semi-annual rounds are:

-15 of February -> into force on 1 of January of the following year

-1 of August -> into force on 1 of July of the following year

Extension for Tariff Quotas with expiry in the current year
The General Sub-Directorate of Tariff Policy and Instruments of Commercial Defence of MINECO published three cases of tariff suspensions that from January 1st 2016:

-Have been automatically extended for an initial period of five years: (161 Kb) suspensions with automatic extensions

-They have been deleted: (44 Kb) suspensions removed from 01.01.2016

-Whose continuity is subject to any company request: (66 Kb) suspensions with extensions subject to company request

Query for current and under preparation Suspensions and Tariff Quotas
To know which products are approved and which are under discussion in each round:

-Tariff suspensions in force Search engine of suspensions in force

-Tariff quotas consultation Tariff quotas search query

-Tariff suspensions in study and pending of approval Search engine of the European Commission

-Tariff quotas in study and pending of approval Search engine of the European Commission


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