New Tariffs on Steel to Protect Against Cheap Imports

10 March 2016

The Ministry of Industry and Trade on Tuesday announced additional tariffs on imported steel products as a temporary safeguard against inexpensive imports that were allegedly threatening the domestic industry.

As per the Decision No 862/Q?-BCT issued by the ministry, it will impose temporary safeguard duties of 23.3 per cent on steel billets and 14.2 per cent on long steel products for a maximum of 200 days.

However, these safeguards will not be applicable on products from developing countries such as Cambodia and Indonesia, whose steel exports to Vi?t Nam account for less than 3 per cent of the country’s total imports.

On December 25, 2015, the MoIT issued Decision No 14296/Q?-BCT on a safeguard investigation into imports of steel billets and long steel products, on a complaint lodged by local producers Hòa Phát Steel Joint Stock Company (JSC), Southern Steel Co Ltd, Thái Nguyên Iron and Steel JSC and Vi?t Nam-Italy Steel JSC.

The four companies said the proposal for investigations came from a surge of imported steel billets and long steel products.

Specifically, the amount of imported steel billets rose from more than 466,000 tonnes in 2012 to 1.5 million tonnes in 2015. The amount of imported long steel products also rose from more than 387,000 tonnes in 2012 to 1.2 million tonnes in 2015.

Many others, however, called for a halt to the investigation as unlike big companies they depended on imported steel billets for production, and high duties would increase their input costs and lowering profit margin.

Investigated steel products are classified under Harmonization System Codes or HS 7207.11.00; 7207.19.00; 7207.20.29; and 7207.20.99; in addition to 7224.90.00; 7213.10.00; 7213.91.20; and 7214.20.31. More classifications are 7214.20.41; 7227.90.00; 7228.30.10; and 9811.00.00.

 Vi?t Nam has been already imposing trade tariffs of up to 20 per cent on these products.

The ministry said it will continue with an investigation launched at the end of last year into possible damage caused by steel imports.

Initial findings suggested that the recent surge of imports has caused serious damage to local production of steel billets and long steel products, the ministry said.

Last year, steel imports surged 218 per cent to nearly 1.89 million tonnes, compared to an increase of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent on the sales of domestic products.

More than 1.28 million tonnes of long steel products were brought into Vi?t Nam last year, up 47 per cent from 2014, while local producers posted increases between 15 per cent and 25 per cent in sales.

 VN investigates coated steel from China, S Korea

The Ministry of Industry and Trade last week decided to carry out an anti-dumping investigation into coated steel sheets imported from China and South Korea.

The Vi?t Nam Competition Authority (VCA) said on its website that measures would be enacted to prevent such products imported from China, including Hong Kong, and South Korea, from being dumped in the Vietnamese market, the VCA added.

The final conclusion would be announced within 12 months since the beginning of the investigation or extended more six months in special situation.

The VCA would provide questions on quantity and prices to the producers and exporters in the markets which have been blamed for dumping in Vi?t Nam, as well as producers and importers in the country.

Investigated steel products are classified under Harmonization System Codes or HS 7210.41.11; 7210.41.12; and 7210.41.19 from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

On December 24, 2015, the VCA received appeals from four steel firms, including China Steel Sumikin Vi?t Nam JSC, Ph??ng Nam Co Ltd., Nam Kim Steel JSC, and ?ông Á Steel JSC, demanding the implementation of measures to prevent coated steel sheets shipped from these markets from being sold at cheap prices in Vi?t Nam.

The four firms have accused companies from the markets of dumping their products in the Southeast Asian country, which seriously affects local businesses.

In 2015, China exported between 1.6 million metric tonnes and 1.8 million metric tonnes to Vi?t Nam, covering nearly a half of the total products currently manufactured by local enterprises.

This is the second time Vi?t Nam has officially started an investigation into anti-dumping issues.

In October, 2014, Vi?t  Nam started to prevent dumping of stainless steel imported from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan by applying tariffs of 3.41 per cent to 37.29 per cent, depending on the manufacturing nations, for a five-year period. — VNS


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