New Delhi: Engineering exporters’ body EEPC India has sought modification in a recent notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on import of steel products, saying the move may lead to increase in the steel prices. Steel is a crucial raw material for engineering export goods.
In a letter to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, EEPC India Chairman Ravi Sehgal flagged concerns regarding the DGFT notification dated September 5, which mandated compulsory registration for import of most of the steel products under Chapter 72 and few products under Chapter 73 and 86 of ITC (HS) in the name of the Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS).
“Engineering goods exporters, battling under global slowdown and rising domestic costs, have approached Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, under the aegis of EEPC India, seeking modification of a recent DGFT notification that would result in restrictions on import and increase in price of steel, a crucial raw material for the engineering export goods”, he said in the letter.
The government has made it mandatory for traders to register themselves with the Steel Import Monitoring System to import 215 iron and steel products.
The DGFT, under the commerce ministry, said “import policy” for these 215 items “has been revised from ‘free’ to ‘free subject to compulsory registration under SIMS'”.
These items include certain flat-rolled products; some stranded wire, ropes, cables; certain items of springs and leaves for springs of iron and steel; tubes, pipes and hollow profiles; diesel-electric locomotives; and some parts of railways.
In a notification, the directorate said that the Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS) will require importers to submit advance information in an online system for import of these items and obtain an automatic registration number by paying specified amount of fee.
“Engineering exports are down by around 2 per cent in the first four months in the current fiscal. The bouncing back may be difficult given the fact that the EU has further slashed the quota on steel products shipped from India.
“The Section 232 on imposition and withdrawal of GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) by the USA has already restricted India’s exports to the major market. Under these circumstances, any rise in prices or restrictions on steel imports would be adding to the problems of the engineering exporters,” EEPC India stated.
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