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Sunday, 13 October 2019

Administrative Court backs Trade Ministry’s steel import tariffs

Has the battle over steel tariffs finally been resolved? The High Administrative Court has overturned a court decision to freeze the Trade Ministry’s decision to impose a 25% duty on steel rebar and a 16% duty on iron billets for three years, the local press reports. The administrative court ruled against the imposition of the duties back in July, after a number of rolling mills said they had been forced to halt production. The ministry filed an appeal against the decision, claiming that the tariffs will help protect local steelmakers.

Duties will gradually decrease: The Trade Ministry said in a statement following the hearing that the import duties will be gradually tapered over the coming three years. Steel rebar tariffs will remain at 25% until 11 April 2020, when they will fall to 21%. This will be reduced to 17% from 11 April 2021 to 12 April 2022. Iron billet duties will remain at 16% until 11 April 2020, before falling to 13% until 11 April 2021 and 10% until 12 April 2022. The ministry will lift the tariffs completely after 12 April 2022.

Steelmakers are not happy. Mohamed Eliwa, president of Misr Steel, said that factories want duties no higher than 7% in the first year, decreasing to 5% and 3% over the following two years. As it stands, producers will face huge losses, said Mohamed El Swaify, director of sales at El Ola Steel.

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