Costa Rica has decided not to impose a safeguard duty on imports of bars of steel for the reinforcement of concrete, the country’s Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce said.
A ministry investigation was analyzing a possible duty of 15% over the imported products. The investigation started on March 19 and applied to material under HS code 7214.20.00.00.10, 7214.20.00.00.90, 7214.99.20.00.10, 7228.30.00.00.10, 7228.50.00.00.10 and 7228.60.00.00.10 and involved imports from all destinations.
Imports of such products increased 18% year on year in 2017 from 2016, World Trade Association had said when announcing the investigation.
The request for the investigation occurred in November 2017 from Costa Rica’s sole steel producer — a rolling unit of ArcelorMittal that processes billets and produces up to 280,000 mt/year of bar and rebar and 50,000 mt/year of wire rod.
During the investigation period, Costa Rican steel players asked the government to stop the safeguard investigation on rebar imports. The companies that signed the petition sent to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce were traders and re-rollers Aceros Abonos Agro, Gerdau Metaldom, Intersteel, Saret Acero, Valvulas y Conexiones Urrea, Corporacion El Lagar and Grupo El Colono.
According to the companies, the 15% tariff would initiate a monopoly in the country.