(also aimed at all businesses involved in the steel value chain)
During the course of 2015, government introduced a 10 percent customs duty in order to protect AMSA against the import of cheaper (and better quality) steel. According to the government directive, this arrangement should have expired after three years, however, it is still in effect.
The custom duties were followed by the introduction of additional 12 percent safeguard duties (which amounted to a total of 22 percent protectionist duties).
During the course of March 2020, Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, announced a process towards the drafting of a Steel Master Plan. NEASA’s view (and we were at all times under the impression that this was the common view), was that the duties protecting AMSA formed an integral part of deliberations towards the establishment of a Steel Master Plan.
Consequently, we were shocked when we received a notice from ITAC that indicated their intention to entertain AMSA’s application for the continuation of the safeguard duties, which are due to expire on or about October 2020. This flies in the face of the stipulation of the World Trade Organization that such duties may only be applicable for a period of three years.
We view this act by ITAC as an act of defiance towards Minister Patel’s Steel Master Plan processes, as well as an act of extreme bad faith.
As if this was not enough, we also received a notice from ITAC that the process of implementing import duties on nine new tariff codes, which were previously not included, will continue via video conference.
To add insult to injury no mention was made of NEASA’s application to review the existing duties. This application was submitted to ITAC on 12 August 2019.
NEASA consistently criticised these duties that are aimed at protecting AMSA but to the detriment of the steel downstream.
In light of this, we request your participation in the following
If you support NEASA’s view of scrapping all duties,
If you do not support NEASA’s view,
Please note that the participation of all businesses in the steel value chain is of utmost importance.
We are all in this together.
Privileged and challenged to be South African.