The European Union (EU) said on Monday it'd levy 24% anti-dumping duty on China's steel and wire rod for a period of five years.

A meeting of EU foreign ministers of the 27-nation bloc approved without discussion on Monday the measure of imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty up to 24% on China's imported steel wire rods.

The definitive measure came after temporary duties were slapped in February 2009 following European producers claimed that Chinese producers had sold their products in low prices and hurt their businesses.

As usual, the temporary anti-dumping tax implement period is half year, European Commission will carry out so-called investigation and then decide whether the period is 5 years or not. The decision needs to be approved by 27 members of EU.

The EU anti-dumping investigation normally takes no more than a year, and in any case must be completed within 15 months, after which the EU governments will have the final say on whether to impose definite five-year anti-dumping duties.

However, the commission may impose provisional duties within 60 days to nine months during the investigation period, which may last for six to nine months.

After that, the commission decides whether to impose definitive anti-dumping duties.

In recent two years, EU levied anti-dumping tax on China's steel products or made anti-dumping survey, which not only hurt the trade relationship between China and Europe, but also do harm to the interests of European steel customers.

China's Ministry of Commerce has voiced regret over the anti- dumping applications and hoped to solve the issue through dialogue and negotiations. It also hoped the commission would refrain from adopting anti-dumping measures.

The European steel customers think that EU levying the anti-dumping tax on the China's steel products will cause the tight supply of steel products in the EU markets.

Furthermore, during the financial crisis the implement of such trade restrictions, will bright up the steel products' prices in European market and the costs of buyers.