Following a rather long process of investigations and various evaluation, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries seem to be finally ready to announce the definitive safeguard measures against steel imports to the region.
According to the document recently released by the local competent authority, it has been recommended to impose restrictions for three years, with the gradual softening of the rate from the initial 16 percent to 15.2 percent and to 14.44 percent in the third year, respectively.
The investigation was launched by the local Bureau of Technical Secretariat for Anti Injurious Practices in International Trade (TSAIP) in July last year. It was decided to examine the three basic steel product groups – flats, longs and pipe. According to the latest document, the following materials are recommended to be made subject to the new restriction:
721030; 721049; 721069; 721220; 721230; 721250; 721260; 722591; 722592; 722599
Metallic coated steel
Organic coated steel
721310; 721320; 721391; 721399; 721410; 721430; 721510; 721550; 721590; 722710; 722720; 722810; 722820; 722840; 722850; 722860; 721710; 721720; 721730; 721790; 722100; 722300; 722920; 722990
721491; 721499; 722211; 722219
Circular, square and rectangular sticks and rods
721610; 721631; 721632; 730810; 730110
721621; 721650; 730120
Angles and Shapes
730539; 730661; 730690; 730431; 730590; 730840; 730890
Welded and seamless pipes and tubes not including items for gas and oil
Market sources expect the official announcement to be made sometime after the Eid holiday, although there are still some questions regarding whether the suggested rates are to be approved and regarding the whole duty imposition system. For now, it is said that the duty will not be country-based and will most probably not cover supplies from the EFTA countries and those which have a special trade agreement with the GCC.
“The measure is called to protect local industries, where we have our own production, from imports, even though they are not so big. Such products as HRC, billet and some pipes for the oil and gas industry will be still duty-free,” a local source told SteelOrbis.