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Monday, 14 October 2019

Rolling mills to appeal court decision upholding steel import tariffs

The steel tariff beef still isn’t over. Rolling mills are planning to appeal once again a decision to introduce import duties on steel rebar and iron billets, claiming that the measures will damage their businesses, Al Shorouk reports. The High Administrative Court yesterday overturned a court decision to freeze the Trade Ministry’s 25% import duty on steel rebar and a 16% duty on iron billets, provoking the ire of rolling mills. Ayman al-Ashry, member of the Chamber of Metallurgical Industries and president of the Al Ashry Steel Group, said the duties will increase production costs by EGP 2k to EGP 12k per ton and that he plans to launch another appeal. Wanes Ayad, chairman of Metad Helwan for Rolling Metals (Ayad Group), claimed that the tariff would set back the economy by EGP 16bn, adding that the government is providing benefits to integrated factories at the expense of some 22 rolling mills.

Background: 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. The Trade Ministry announced after the hearing that duties will last for three years and be reduced gradually to reach 17% on steel rebar and 10% on iron billets by 12 April 2021.

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