Russian Steel, Sanctions and Steel Origins

“Many of our customers are keen to avoid steel manufactured in Russia and other countries. We ensure the steel we supply is in line with current legislation. This page will clarify some of the guidance on country of origin documents and supply chain traceability in the UK.”

Refusing Russian Steel: Key Information for Customers

For a quick summary of what you need to know when buying steel from us, we’ve kept this section as short as possible. Further information is explained below.

  1. To provide materials to our customers that align with our ethical outlook, VSN Ltd. has been self-sanctioning Russian material since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. We do as much as possible, above and beyond restrictions, to avoid Russian-origin steel.
  2. The government no longer requires proof of origin for iron and steel imports from EU, Norway and Switzerland.
  3. All of our steel is either domestically produced or imported from the EU with the exception of a small quantity from Korea.
  4. All of our steel is in line with current sanctions guidelines
  5. For orders that have already been processed, we are unable to change the country of origin.

Recent Changes in Russian Steel Guidance

Russian sanctions are a complex issue, with legislation and guidance changing regularly. Governments across the EU are seeking to streamline the supply chain.

In September 2023, UK government legislation came into force which effectively banned the import of steel products produced in or derived from Russia. These sanctions place pressure on Russia to end the incursion into Ukraine.

The UK government considers EU sanctions to be broadly aligned with the UK’s, and the divergence is now reflected in UK Guidance. Changes in February 2024 introduced a General Trade License and removed the requirement to evidence of country of origin from EU imports.

General Trade License for Steel

The General Trade License permits the import of sanctioned iron and steel products that are:
processed in a third country
relating to contracts that concluded before 21st April 2023
material in the UK with free circulation before June 2023.

Material that does not meet this criteria will not be in circulation. All VSN Steel is compliant with UK regulations.

Another example of our Lumsden grinding

Proof of History is Not Required for EU Imports

EU restrictions on certain iron and steel products from Russia (sections 2 & 3 of Sanctions Schedule 3B) are substantially similar to those in the UK, as well as Norway and Switzerland. As such, the UK, Norway and Switzerland are viewed as “partner countries” to the EU.

To facilitate import processes and ease pressures on customs points, UK vendors no longer need to demonstrate evidence of supply chain history for imports from Norway, Switzerland and the EU.

This is because the similarities in legislation mean we can be confident that any steel products from these places are in line with UK sanctions guidance.

 Low Domestic Steel Supply

The majority of our stock ( currently in excess of 3000 tons ) is imported from the EU to the UK. This is because the domestic producers production capacity is so limited that we cannot meet our customer requirements with UK steel only.

Various steels for structural applications

Refusing Steel From Certain Countries

It is not possible to request steel from a specific country of origin retrospectively. Orders that have already been processed and will not be re-ordered to avoid particular countries of origin. Any countries customers wish to avoid buying steel from must be specified at the time of order. 

VSN Steels: In Line with UK Legislation

VSN Steels Ltd. are fully compliant with current UK legislation on Russian iron and steel products. You can still be confident in receiving the highest quality material from our stock, processed efficiently and with a short lead time.

For steel plate from a company that goes above and beyond:

Contact VSN: call 0121 327 1783, email:

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