OFAC Amends Certain Previous General Licenses By Extending Their Expiration Date To 21 January 2019

10 December 2018

Friday evening, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) extended the expiration date of certain general licenses related to United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL).

The General Licenses 13H, 14D, 15C and 16D amend certain previous general licenses, by extending the expiration date from 7 January 2019 to 21 January 2019, for transactions related to RUSAL and its subsidiaries.

Please see OFAC’s Official Press Release

OFAC AMEND CERTAIN PREVIOUS GENERAL LICENSES BY EXTENDING THEIR EXPIRATION DATE

12 October 2018

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) extended the expiration date of certain general licenses related to United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL).

The General Licenses 13E, 14B, and 16B amend certain previous general licenses, by extending the expiration date from 12 November 2018 to 12 December 2018.

We will keep you informed about any further developments.

SEE OFAC’S OFFICIAL PRESSPLEASE RELEASE

Hydro Extrusion UK wins first Neil Birt HSE Achievement Award

For 15 years, the Aluminium Federation HSE Support Group has been a forum for helping members promote safety in an industry that can be hazardous. During our meetings, we encourage members to feedback on initiatives that they have either implemented or are in the process of implementation.

One initiative that particularly impressed the group was Hydro Extrusion UK’s HSE apprentice scheme, which was introduced in 2017. It created the scheme to develop new HSE professionals within the business, to help ensure there’s a stable flow of HSE personnel and to help foster a culture of continuous improvement.

The scheme is delivered with local colleges and training providers, and apprentices work towards nationally and internationally recognised qualifications. They develop a keen understanding of business management and both theoretical and practical HSE knowledge, developing skills applicable to Hydro Extrusion UK and the wider industry. Other benefits include excellent career progression opportunities within the Hydro family and developing professional networks inside and outside the business. Hydro Extrusion now has 4 HSE apprentices across its 6 UK sites, each mentored by the Site HSE Manager and the Regional HSE Coordinator.

In April 2018, we received the sad news that Neil Birt, our former HSE Group Chair (and long-serving HSE Manager of Bridgnorth Aluminium), had passed away. As a committee, we decided that it would be a fitting memorial to create an Annual HSE Achievement Award in his name.

The idea is not only to celebrate achievement within the industry, but to maintain the values and ideals Neil spent so long promoting. His vision was that by working together we could help each other and to encourage shared learning. We are grateful for everything Neil gave members, and in recognition of Hydro Extrusion UK’s achievements, we’re delighted to announce them as the first recipient of the Neil Birt HSE Achievement Award.

Congratulations to Hydro Extrusion UK

Centre – The award was collected by Kieran Veal ( Hydro HSE Technician, and one of the original Apprentices on the Scheme) and Ian Bould (Hydro HSE Manager)  with
Left – Giles Ashmead, ALFED President, and Right – Helen Williams, Chair of the ALFED HSE Committee

OFAC EXTENDS THE DEADLINE OF CERTAIN GENERAL LICENSES

Yesterday night, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) extended the expiration date of certain general licenses related to United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL).

The General Licenses 13D, 14A, and 16A are amended to extend the expiration date from 23 October to 12 November 2018, for transactions related to RUSAL and its subsidiaries. 

PLEASE SEE OFAC’S OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE 

Aluminium industry is thriving in the face of political and economic challenges, according to annual ALFED Members’ Briefing

The 2018 Aluminium Federation Members’ Briefing and Annual Dinner showcased developments within the industry – and the important role ALFED plays as the industry’s voice.

On 20th September, representatives from more than 100 ALFED members descended on the historic Tortworth Court in Gloucestershire to share 12 months’ worth of insight and discuss upcoming challenges.

The agenda included presentations from ALFED’s president, 4 sector subgroups, ALFED training and the Health, Safety and Environmental Support Group, as well as the UK Metals Council, Bloodhound SSC and The Outward Bound Trust.

Key takeaways were:

  • There’s a positive outlook for extrusion, with the year-on-year growth experienced since 2015 continuing its upward trend. There’s particular growth in products for the industrial and automotive markets
  • Members in the finishing group are reporting healthy order books, sales and supply volumes. Current issues relate to hexavalent chromate authorisation, the redrafting of BS EN12206, titanium oxide, cobalt and the surface treatment and powder coating of secondary aluminium
  • Innovation initiatives have included the ALFED forging project to establish a framework for migrating from ferrous to aluminium components, with a focus to date on the automotive industry. Over the past year, the innovation group has also looked at Horizon 2020 funding opportunities, joining techniques, developments in second-generation fibre metal laminates, strained hardened heat-treatable alloys, cryogenic stress relieving and additive manufacturing
  • The recycling group updated members on new technologies – like high-efficient burners, spectroscopy and alloy detection systems – as well as developments in closed-loop recycling, packaging recycling and secondary material usage.

Bloodhound SSC discussed the new schools challenge in partnership with ALFED – and brought a full-size model of the car that will be making a world record attempt. We also learned about the new HSE apprenticeship scheme at Hydro Extrusion UK, a landmark 4-year programme that’s helping cement the importance of health and safety in future working practices.

Giles Ashmead, ALFED President, said:

“Over the past year, we welcomed over 20 new members to the Federation: companies who want to take advantage of our services. We also offered further networking opportunities for our existing members.

“Our training offer continues to develop, with the launch of not only our revamped schools challenge in association with Bloodhound, but also our new management training courses, which are already selling out.

“We are accelerating our innovation work by forming knowledge partnerships with a number of educational establishments, and have resurrected our lecture programme. We continue to listen to our members and develop training and technical support initiatives that meet their requirements.

“ALFED are definitely focused on building the aluminium industry of the future. At this time of uncertainty – with not only Brexit as a threat to the industry’s stability but also the actions of the US Government – we have found an unprecedented level of access to our Government. We thank the civil servants of Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, as well as other Government departments for giving us their time, taking up our issues and doing what they can to alleviate the threats we face.”

To learn more about the Members’ Briefing and the specific presentations, contact Margaret Lane at m_lane@alfed.org.uk or 44 (0)121 601 6363.

OFAC ANNOUNCES POSSIBILITY TO SIGN CERTAIN TYPES OF CONTRACTS WITH RUSAL

After intensive advocacy work in the past months and weeks with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the European Commission and the Member States, European Aluminium have announced a potential evolution in the Rusal dossier.

Based on information published by OFAC in a Q&A last Friday, there may be an opening for companies to sign certain types of contracts extending beyond the current expiration of General Licenses 14, 15, and 16 under certain conditions. European Aluminium are currently in the process of seeking clarity on the legal interpretation of OFAC’s messaging and remain in close cooperation with the stakeholders.

Year in Industry Programme

Year in Industry Programme – provided by the University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield have joined the Aluminium Federation as ALFED Members on a Knowledge Partnership basis.

Atttached you will find information on their Year in Industry Programme.

The Year in Industry Programme allows students to spend a year in industry as part of their degree.

By spending a year on an industrial placement, they will gain valuable work experience and evidence of applying their engineering skills, i.e. putting theory into practice.

The Year in Industry gives students an opportunity to find out what working in engineering/as a computer scientist is really like, and is an opportunity for a company to potentially offer a job to a student after graduation.

It will also give companies an insight into new engineering technologies being developed and a link with an engineering department within the University of Sheffield.

If any company requires further information, please contact Dr Neil Lowrie, Business Development Management Manager, Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Sheffield.

Tel: 0114 2225506        neil.lowrie@sheffield.ac.uk

There is no specific deadline so this information is valid for now and following years.

US Sanctions / RUSAL

OFAC extends RUSAL, EN+ Group and GAZ Group general licence until 23 Oct.

The US has extended the general licence allowing Rusal to be divested from Oleg Deripaska from 5 August to 23 October, in line with the licence on doing business with Rusal.  Details can be found at

https://europeansanctions.com/2018/08/01/ofac-extends-rusal-en-group-and-gaz-group-general-licence-until-23-oct/

House of Lords shows rising influence of aluminium


Richard Harrington MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (BEIS)
 

On the 12th July, we had our annual lunch at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Paul of Marylebone. It was a fruitful and honest discussion of key issues facing the industry, with lots of opportunity for members to ask questions of the parliamentarians and civil servants. And there was a bit of additional drama as the MPs hurried from the chamber with their fresh copies of the Brexit white paper – it was interesting hearing their immediate impressions.

Here are the key takeaways from the event:

  • The Aluminium Federation is having a major impact on government policy – Richard Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at BEIS, as well as the BEIS civil servants and APPG parliamentarians all commented on how helpful ALFED has been as they consider policies affecting trade and industry
  • Government is taking our interests to heart when it comes to trade and Brexit – and they welcome our continued input. ALFED CEO Tom Jones meets officials regularly, so let us know if there are issues you want him to raise
  • The aluminium industry is making key strides when it comes to showcasing innovation – Rob Bennett from Bloodhound SSC made this clear as he discussed the valuable contribution aluminium is making to efforts to break the land speed record
  • We need to think long-term about talent issues – the Bloodhound SSC/ALFED combined project is part of this, and if you’d like to sponsor the schools-based activity (and build your business profile), contact Kathy Romback at k_romback@alfed.org.uk

The next big event is the Annual Dinner and Member’s Briefing on Thursday 20th September. One of the highlights of the industry calendar, it’s being held this year at the prestigious Tortworth Court Hotel, a Grade II-listed Victorian mansion in South Gloucestershire.

To book your tickets for the dinner and to take advantage of our pre-reserved hotel rooms, please contact Ann Gough at a_gough@alfed.org.uk or on 0121 601 6365.

Briefing on US aluminium tariffs on EU imports

On 31st May, the White House issued a presidential proclamation adjusting imports of aluminium into the US. It announced that, as of 1st June, aluminium imports from EU countries would be subject to a 10% import duty.

Background

An increase in US protectionism has been on the table for many months – it was a feature of Donald Trump’s election platform, although the specifics have taken time to emerge.

Here is a brief timeline outlining how the aluminium situation has evolved:

19th January 2018 US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross submitted a report looking at the effect of aluminium article imports on US national security under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The report concluded that aluminium imports had reached a level that threatened national security.
8th March 2018 Donald Trump officially responded to the report with a proclamation agreeing with Ross’s findings and imposing a 10% tariff on aluminium imports.
22nd March 2018 Trump issued a further proclamation outlining the outcome of negotiations with various countries following his announcement earlier in the month.

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the EU had successfully negotiated exemptions and had until 1st May to come to an agreement with the US on “satisfactory alternative means to address the threatened impairment” to US national security.

30th April 2018 Trump issued another proclamation announcing that the US had reached an agreement in principle with Argentina and Australia, and extended their exemptions to finalise the detail. The agreements included “measures to reduce excess aluminium production and excess aluminium capacity, measures that will contribute to increased capacity utilisation in the United States and measures to prevent the trans-shipment of aluminium articles and import surges.” These include quotas.
31st May 2018 In this proclamation, Trump confirmed that a 10% tariff would apply starting 1st June to aluminium imports from all countries except Australia and Argentina.

There is a process for individual companies with a US presence to seek an exemption for their products, and DIT and BEIS are supporting companies with this.

International response 

Cecilia Malmström, EU Trade Commissioner, confirmed that the EU was sending complaints to the WTO in response to the tariffs.

Under WTO rules, the EU has to wait at least 30 days to formally implement rebalancing measures. It notified the WTO of the list of US imports on 18th May, so can trigger the tariffs on 20th June. In the 10-page list, the most noteworthy are bourbon, jeans and motorbikes, but it also includes 103 steel and 8 aluminium product lines, as well as sweetcorn, cranberries, tobacco, makeup and clothing. The EU’s countermeasures are estimated to affect approximately £2.5 billion of US exports.

The EU is also looking at safeguarding measures to protect the EU from an influx of aluminium displaced by US barriers. It has 9 months to decide whether to take action. In preparation, the Commission is implementing plans to prepare a surveillance system for aluminium in case it decides to proceed.

The Prime Minister has expressed her disappointment in statements such as: “The EU and UK should be permanently exempted from tariffs, and we will continue to work together to protect and safeguard our workers and industries.” She had a 30-minute call with President Trump on 4th June, but further expected discussions at the G7 summit in Canada didn’t materialise.

There is a school of thought that the UK is only affected as an EU member state, and that Trump’s aim is to make a statement about other European exports, particularly in the automotive sector. A UK-only exemption would be illegal at present, but could be possible after Brexit.

Other countries are also retaliating. Canada is levying tariffs on US steel and aluminium, as well as exports such as sleeping bags, quiche and playing cards. Mexico is implementing countermeasures on steel, sausages, bourbon, fruit, lamps and various cheeses, among others.

Implications for UK aluminium

The UK government – and the Aluminium Federation – have consistently rejected the idea that UK aluminium exports represent a threat to US national security. In fact, the UK is recognised as a valuable US security partner, as evidenced by our commitment to spending 2% of GDP on defence and our joint efforts developing cutting-edge technology (for example, the F-35 fighter jet). Robert Wood Johnson, the US Ambassador to the UK, even wrote to this effect in The Telegraph on 9 June.

The tariffs will affect UK businesses in 4 major ways:

  1. Distorted global markets and prices – the 2018 global market demand for aluminium is set to increase by over 5% year on year, translating to a total market size of 66 million tonnes, but the tariffs may impact this growth
  2. Disrupted supply chains – by increasing costs and complicated logistics, including for US companies (the US is heavily reliant on imported aluminium, which is a crucial raw material for key industrial markets)
  3. Redirection of material – from other countries, particularly China
  4. Damage to industry and business – the aluminium industry needs stability, security and certainty so it can invest in growth and development, and as with all industrial markets, the UK wants a level playing field to compete in

Recommended next steps

We recommend pursuing 2 goals:

  1. Seeking a permanent and unconditional exemption from the US tariffs
  2. Taking steps to address over-capacity coming out of China – this is essential to protect our markets from imminent redirected trade flows

To achieve these goals, we recommend the UK Government focus on 3 priorities

  1. Continuing dialogue with the US in coordination with the EU and our associates in Canada to (a) achieve a permanent exemption and (b) work together towards the objective of a sustainable aluminium industry
  2. Implementing safeguard measures, particularly a quota that allows traditional volumes to enter the UK and EU but blocks additional volumes to ensure protection from redirected trade flows
  3. Continuing discussions with the Aluminium Federation regarding the industrial strategy and other policies needed to deliver a fair, sustainable and competitive market for UK aluminium

As the voice of the UK aluminium industry, we will continue to promote aluminium as a first-choice material to drive wider use and foster innovation. We will also continue to work, engage and support our members through this challenging period.

For more information on the impact of US tariffs on the aluminium industry, contact us on +44 (0)121 601 6363 or visitwww.alfed.org.uk