ArcelorMittal and Safal Steel have applied to increase the duties on “Certain coated or plated flat-rolled steel, classifiable under tariff subheadings 7210.20, 7210.30, 7210.50, 7210.69, 7212.20, 7212.50, 7212.60, 7225.91 and 7225.92″ from free of duty to 10%.
These are some of the last primary steel tariff codes which have yet to see their duties increased. The value of imports through these tariff codes for the period May 2018 to April 2019 was R2.1bn, with most of the this from the Far East.
The reasons given for the increase are:
- The locally manufactured galvanised and electro-galvanised products, aluminium-zinc and colour coated steel attract a 10 per cent ad valorem duty;
- The imported subject products are direct substitutes for locally manufactured galvanised and electro-galvanised products, aluminium-zinc and colour coated steel as they have similar applications;
- An increase in duty on the corrosive protection flat-rolled steel that were covered under Report 505 and several other tariff subheadings which are flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel or other alloy steel did not attract any customs duty due to an oversight with regard to the initial tariff increase application and they have now become open to abuse;
- The subject products imported under the relevant tariff headings unfairly compete with the locally manufactured products as they are imported free of duty and create a possible loophole threatening the sustainability of the domestic industry; and
- The increase in customs duty on these tariff subheadings will be in line with the current customs duty of 10 per cent that is already applicable on the tariff subheadings as set out in Report No. 505, which would prevent the abuse thereof.
Interested parties have until 19 July 2019 to respond.
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