The European Commission has now published its proposed list of countermeasures and this includes raising tariffs on steel, aluminium and glass products, including certain types of furniture being imported from the USA.

The United States of America announced on 8 March 2018 the imposition of measures in the form of a tariff increase on imports of certain steel and aluminium products from the EU (at the rates of 25% and 10%, respectively), applicable as from 23 March 2018.
The furniture proposed for tariffs by the EU is as follows:

  •  31001190 (CN 940179) - Non-upholstered seats with metal frames EXCLUDING: - medical, surgical, dental or veterinary seats - barbers' or similar chairs - swivel seats    
  •  31001290 (CN 940169) - Non-upholstered seats with wooden frames EXCLUDING: - swivel seats
  •  31001170 (CN 940171) - Upholstered seats with metal frames EXCLUDING: - swivel seats - medical, surgical, dental or veterinary seats - barbers' or similar chairs - for motor vehicles - for aircraft.
  •  31001250 (CN 940161) - Upholstered seats with wooden frames INCLUDING: - three piece suites EXCLUDING: - swivel seats
  • 31001300 (CN 940180) - Other seats INCLUDING: - plastic garden seats, camping seats EXCLUDING: - for aircraft - for motor vehicles - swivel seats - seats convertible into beds - seats of cane, osier, bamboo or similar - seats with wooden or metal frames - medical, surgical, dental/veterinary seats - barbers' or similar chairs.

Whilst the implementation of tariffs will affect companies importing to the EU including the UK, there is the potential that the US will then respond in kind and impose tariffs on the same or similar products exported from the EU and imported to the US.

In 2017, the USA imported to the UK £5m of  upholstered seats with wooden frames and £14m of other chairs and seats. The UK exported to the USA,  £5.5m of upholstered seating and £16m of other chairs and seats.

The BFC has been asked by BEIS to invite our members to comment directly to the EU Commission on the possible impact of these tariffs at:
There is a link to the form to use at the bottom which also sets out the email address so that responses will go straight back to the Commission. The deadline is Monday 26th March.

If the implementation of these Tariffs will affect your business, then we would urge you to complete the survey.

The above link also contains the full list of products that could be affected.