The EU Commission has initiated a review of the safeguard duties and quota applicable to imports of certain steel products. The current review seeks to determine if the safeguard measurers currently applicable on certain steel products should be terminated by 30 June 2023. The safeguard measurers were envisaged to end on 30 June 2024. It is likely that the EU Commission may also use this review to update the list of developing countries subject to the measure.
A range of products, both primary and downstream steel, are affected by these restrictive measures. The EU remains a significant trading partner for the South African steel industry. In 2021 a total of 240 336 tonnes (approximately R7 billion) of Steel and Articles products were exported to the EU.
Products covered includes: Non Alloy and Other Alloy Hot Rolled Sheets and Strips; Non Alloy and Other Alloy Cold Rolled Sheets; Electrical Sheets (other than GOES); Metallic Coated Sheets; Organic Coated Sheets; Non Alloy and Other Alloy Quarto Plates; Stainless Hot Rolled Sheets and Strips; Stainless Cold Rolled Sheets and Strips; Stainless Hot Rolled Quarto Plates; Non Alloy and Other Alloy Merchant Bars and Light Sections; Rebars; Stainless Wire Rod; Non Alloy and Other Alloy Wire Rod Angles, Shapes and Sections of Iron or Non Alloy Steel; Seamless Stainless Tubes and Pipes; Other Seamless Tubes; Large welded tubes; Other welded pipes; and Non Alloy Wire.
Saisi welcomes the opportunity provided by the European Commission for interested parties to submit comments in writing until mid-January 2023 in line with the spirit of transparency, communication and dialogue embedded in the Economic Partnership Agreement governing our trade relations.
The EU, as a block, remains SA’s largest trading partner, with the SADC-EU EPA underpinning the relationship.
Saisi call on the SA government to support the industry on its efforts to get exempted from the restrictive trade measures given the strategic importance of the domestic steel sector in supporting a diversified high value-add industrial production base for sustained and inclusive economic growth.