Egypt court suspends 15% duties on iron billet imports

An Egyptian court on Thursday has suspended a decree issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to impose import fees of 15 percent on iron billets.

The decision by Egypt’s Administrative Court came after complaints by some steel factories depending on the use of imported billets to manufacture steel rebar. They said the local production of billets did not cover the manufacture of the total annual consumption of steel rebar.

Billets are an essential raw material for the production of steel rebar.

Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry announced earlier on April 15 temporary import fees of 15 percent on iron billets and 25 percent on steel rebar for 180 days, a move aimed to protect national industry against unfair competition.

According to the decree, the Ministry of Finance would collect 25 per cent customs duties on steel rebar in all its forms (bars, rods and coils) and 15 per cent on semi-finished iron products such as billets.

Egypt produces around 7.9 million tonnes of steel rebar and imports 3.5 million tonnes of iron billets annually, according to latest data by the Egyptian Chamber of Metallurgical Industries.