Safeguard investigation initiated: Bolts with hexagon heads

The International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) of South Africa initiated a safeguard investigation on bolts with hexagon heads of iron or steel.

Safeguard duties protect the domestic industry from a surge in imports of any product. It is an emergency measure to protect the domestic industry.

The fasteners industry is relentless because this is the third safeguard investigation on fasteners. Previous safeguard investigations on fasteners initiated in 2018 and 2019.

At this pace, one can only assume that the industry will likely bring more applications for protection. This is because there is a vast number of different fastener types and models. The fasteners under investigation fall under tariff code 7318.15.43. The same tariff code already has a 30% ad valorem duty in place.

The investigation has initiated following an application by the South African Iron and Steel Institute (SAISI) and the South African Fasteners Manufacturers Association. The applicants allege serious injury resulting from imports.

Interest and use of the safeguard instrument has certainly risen in South Africa given the increasing number of initiations. On 15 May 2020, guidelines outlining the process for requesting the extension of safeguard duties were published by ITAC.

Safeguard duties in South Africa are imposed for at most 3 years, however, Regulations enable a six-year extension. Generally, no safeguard duty has been extended in the last decade. Nevertheless, this may become a familiar occurrence once the guidelines are finalised.

Moreover, the long duration of implementation will make the instrument more attractive for manufacturers if conditions that justify its use are of course present.

Interested parties can provide comments until the first week of June. Are you impacted and need assistance?

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