The Department of Trade and Industry recently announced tariff protection measures to protect the basic ferrous industry in South Africa in a desperate measure to prevent the loss of another 30 000 to 50 000 in the metals and engineering sector. These measures brought with them downstream cost implications impacting the sector’s sub-industries, which need further protection.
Since the announcement, key industry players embarked on efforts to strike a balance between upstream and downstream producers regarding protection. These stakeholders included the Departments of Trade and Industry, the Department of Economic Development, ITAC and the business organisations in the sector.
Efforts for protection of the various parts of the industry are necessary since there are some metals and engineering products that are even further down the value chain, especially products with more added value. These have been under significant threat of imports, although they have less protection than the basic metals upstream.
To achieve this, ITAC has given notice, as per the Government Gazette of 22 July, for the review of the general rate of customs duty on various downstream steel products. These include steel products classifiable under tariff headings 72.17, 73.07, 73.08, 73.12, 73.18, 73.21, 83.02, 84.18, 84.26, 84.50, 84.51, 85.04, 86.01, 86.07, 86.09 and 94.06. The application process has also been simplified.
ITAC conducted a very detailed investigation of each one of these tariff headings to determine the scope for tariff increases and it is ready to support the sector wherever it can.