ITAC has initiated yet another safeguard investigation on fasteners. It’s almost as if this has become an annual event. First, it was the safeguard investigation on set screws in 2018. Then threaded rods and nuts in 2019 (not yet finalised).

Now a new safeguard investigation has been initiated on bolts with hexagon heads. All of these investigations have been lodged by the South African Iron and Steel Institute (SAISI) on behalf of the South African Fasteners Manufacturers Association (SAFMA). SAFMA members are CBC Fasteners, Transvaal Pressed Nuts Bolts and Rivets, SA Bolt Manufacturers Company, and Impala Bolt and Nut.

On 15 May 2020, ITAC initiated an investigation for remedial action in the form of a safeguard against the increased imports of bolts with hexagon heads of iron or steel imported under tariff subheading 7318.15.43. ITAC accepts that the applicant (SAISI) submitted prima facie information to indicate that:

  • Events cited can be regarded as unforeseen developments that led to the surge or increase in volumes of imports.
  • SACU industry is suffering a severe injury which could be causally linked to the surge in the volumes of imports of the subject product

The investigation period to determine the allegation of serious injury is 01 July 2015 to 30 June 2019. Our initial assessment of import statistics shows that there has been a 34% increase in imports over the investigation period. This is the surge referred to in the application. However, imports declined by 4% between 2018 and 2019. 

If the safeguard duty is approved, it will be imposed on top of the already high 30% standard duty. The initiation gazette does not indicate the requested duty position, but will no doubt be very large indeed.

Interested parties have until 4 June 2020 to respond.

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