On Friday, February 24, 2023, the U.S. government joined the European Union and other nations in imposing new sanctions on Russia — marking the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The new sanctions target a variety of sectors, including a 200% tariff on aluminum imports from Russia and products from third-countries that incorporate Russian aluminum.
Coupled with the new Aluminum Import Monitoring System (AIMS), importers will be required to submit cast, smelt, and pour information to avoid the tariff. For extruded aluminum products, importers will have to declare the country of import for their extrusions as well as the source of the billet/ingot.
The Aluminum Association expressed its support of the move. “The aluminum industry stands united in support of any and all efforts deemed necessary by the U.S. government and its allies to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine,” stated the organization. “In recent years, many U.S. aluminum companies have diversified away from Russian imports, which account for about 3% of all U.S. aluminum imports. The Aluminum Association is organizing a briefing for members with the Commerce Department to provide more information on the decision.”
The Association added, “We will work closely with our membership to help ensure compliance with these newly announced sanctions. Russia accounts for around 3% of total U.S. aluminum imports. The United States is importing about one-third of the Russian aluminum as it was in 2016 and 2017 (See chart below showing Russian aluminum imports to the U.S. from 2016 through 2022). Many U.S. aluminum companies have diversified away from Russian imports since sanctions (later lifted) were placed on this metal in 2018.”
The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) noted the potential impact on the extrusion market. “Tracing extrusions from Russian primary is key to the success of this action,” said the AEC. “Otherwise, we expect to see continued surges in Russian primary and billet supplies to the countries already injuring our industry.”
The new aluminum tariffs for Russia will enter into force on March 10, while tariffs on indirect or third country imports will begin on April 10.