Customs Duty increase investigation on stainless steel

The International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) of South Africa has initiated an investigation to increase the Customs duty on stainless steel flat products.

The products are classifiable under tariff subheadings 7219.11.90, 7219.12.90, 7219.13.90, 7219.14.90, 7220.12.90, 7219.21.90, 7219.22.90, 7219.23.90, 7219.24.90, 7219.31.90, 7219.32.90, 7219.33.90, 7219.34.90, 7219.35.90, 7220.20.90 and 7220.90.90.

All the above-mentioned tariff subheadings currently have a Customs duty of 5%. The requested increase is 5% and if successful that will push the total duty to 10%.

The investigation is a result of an application by Columbus Stainless Steel, the SACU’s sole producer of stainless steel.

As reasons for the application, Columbus Stainless indicated that:

  1. Key international markets have imposed restrictive trade measures on imports of stainless steel flat products.
  2. Significant global overcapacity for stainless steel flat products will result in significant volumes of low priced stainless steel flat products imported into SACU.
  3. Columbus’ continued operations is faced with significant risk that would lead to reduced production volumes and job losses.
  4. It is a key supporter of the government’s local beneficiation drive.
  5. It is a significant employer in the Mpumalanga area, indirectly supporting employment in the upstream and downstream stainless steel industries.

Interested parties have 4 weeks (from 20 March) to submit comments supporting or opposing the duty increase.

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