Vietnam imposes safeguard tariffs on steel imports to block Chinese products

By Nguyen Hoai   July 18, 2016 | 11:02 pm PT
Vietnam imposes safeguard tariffs on steel imports to block Chinese products
A man climbs on steel packages at Hoa Phat steel mill in Hai Duong province, Vietnam June 14, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Steel imports from China accounted for more than half of the total import volume.

After over four months of applying temporary safeguard measures, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has made a final decision to impose import tariffs on steel billets and steel bars.

The tariffs will be applied from now until March 22, 2020.

Specifically, steel billets will incur a tax duty of 23.3 percent from March 22, 2017. The tariff will be adjusted down by 2 percent each year to 7.3 percent in March 2019, and to 0 percent from March 22, 2020.

Import tariffs on steel bars have been at a lower rate of just under 15 percent, and will be cut to 10.9 percent by March 2019.

The ministry explained that over the past few months, a surge in steel imports, especially from China, has put pressure on domestic producers, reducing their market shares while increasing steel inventories.

Data from Vietnam Customs showed that the country imported around 9.6 million tons of steel in the first half of this year, rising by 43.9 percent against last year’s figure. China was the biggest supplier with some 5.6 million tons shipped to Vietnam, up 45 percent on-year.

On March 22 this year, the ministry applied temporary safeguard tariffs of 23.3 percent on steel billets and 14.2 percent on steel bars to protect the local market.

They also decided to raise anti-dumping tax rates on Chinese steel imports from 4.64 percent to 17.47 percent in May.

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