Following the European Commissions adoption last month of a quota on duty-free API Group II base oil imports, industry sources say the measure is already stirring the European market with concerns that the threshold is too low.
Starting Jan. 1, the new regime will allow 400,000 metric tons of Group II per year to enter the EU withyout paying a 3.7 percent duty that applies to petroleum products. The quota will be split into two 200,000 ton semestral amounts, to be counted on a first come, first served basis without additional cost. The quota applies to Group II oils between viscosity grades of 150 neutral and 600N. Lighter Group II grades and Group III base oils will remain exempt from duties.