Law abolishing steel import duty

Trade and Industry Minister Mr Mandisi Mpahlwa on 29 March said the import duty on some primary carbon and stainless steel products would be scrapped immediately. The delay in implementing the policy prompted customers hoping to benefit from the cut to place orders on hold, Business Day newspaper reported 3 May, citing Francois Dubbleman of International Trade Services, which represents steel importers. South Africa wants to prevent producers such as Mittal Steel South Africa Ltd., Africa’s biggest steelmaker, from charging local buyers what it would cost to import products, including insurance and freight. Prices of some inputs are sold for as much as 30% more in South Africa than they are in Europe, according to the trade and industry department. The government will decide whether competition laws need to be amended by mid-year and is working with Mittal and other companies on ways to reduce input prices.

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