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European Aluminium welcomes first EU sanctions against Russian aluminium imports but calls for a far more comprehensive approach Brussels


17 Nov 2023


Sustainable Dev.
European Aluminum, the voice of the entire European aluminium value chain, welcomes the European Commission’s proposed 12th package of sanctions against Russia, which includes a ban on the importation of certain aluminium products, such wires, tubes and pipes, as well as aluminium foil.1
While European Aluminium welcomes this initial signal of intent, the association urges the EU to adopt a much more rapid  and expansive approach to the restriction of Russian aluminium imports. The proposed list included in the package covers  only 12% of EU imports of aluminium products (HS 76) from Russia, not nearly enough to have a meaningful impact in  practice. Furthermore, future sanctions must be accompanied by strong anti-circumvention measures to ensure an  effective mechanism to prevent the circumvention of sanctions through imports of (semi-) final aluminium products from  third countries.
“These sanctions are a small first step, but we strongly encourage the European Union to accelerate its efforts and broaden  their scope to cover all major product categories, including ingots, slabs, and billets, which constitute over 85% of the EU’s  imports from Russia,” notes Paul Voss, Director General of European Aluminium. “The European aluminium industry has  already started phasing out Russian aluminium and is willing to accelerate the process. It is a matter of principle and  strategic foresight—it’s simply the right thing to do in the current circumstances.”
In response to the onset of the war, the European aluminium industry has proactively taken measures to reduce its  reliance on Russian aluminium. Year-to-date (YTD) EU trade data up to August 2023 highlights a significant 34% decrease  in EU aluminium imports from Russia compared to the previous year. This marks a pivotal shift, with Russia now accounting  for only approximately 9% of the EU’s aluminium ingot imports (HS 7601), down from 25% just a few years ago.
“The latest import data underscores our proactive steps towards diversifying supply, but now our focus must shift to  boosting our domestic production capabilities. By expanding and safeguarding our primary aluminium production and  recycling operations, we can fulfill Europe’s rising demand for aluminium and secure our strategic autonomy,” Paul  concludes.
1The EU sanctions package of 8 April 2022 already included an import restriction on aluminium plates, sheets and strip,  of a thickness exceeding 0,2 mm (trade code: 7606). 
European Aluminium