Legal action by EURANIMI, a European steel importers group, against the extension of the EU’s steel safeguard measure should be dismissed as having no legal standing, the bloc’s lower-tier General Court heard today from Gustavo Luengo, defending the position of the Commission.

It is the first time the safeguard has faced an EU court action by the bloc’s importers.

EURANIMI’s legal battle with the commission regarding the prolongation of the safeguard measure  centers on the issue of admissibility, with the commission insisting that the association doesn’t have the right to bring its challenge in the EU courts.

“We understand that a measure like this could annoy the importers and users, but that doesn’t mean that they have legal interest” to challenge it, Luengo told the court today.

EURANIMI also lacks “an individual concern” — another required condition to claim legal standing — because it had failed to prove that it has certain characteristics that distinguish it from other “market participants,” the commission argued.

EURANIMI argued the opposite, saying the safeguard was a “regulatory measure that directly concerns our members” and that the General Court was the right place to appeal it. EURANIMI’s attorney, Peter Gjortler said the safeguard directly affected importers and distributors because the 25 percent duty could apply to their shipments if they reached customs when the quota was already exhausted.

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