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Ghana steel importers undercut iron rod makers

Iron rod manufacturers in the country said that they are being cheated by traders who are importing steel coils and passing them off as iron rods, paying very little duty in the process.

Imported iron rod is supposed to attract 20% duty but the importers are said to be disguising their coils as raw materials and by so doing they pay only 5% duty.

Mr George Andoh, board chairman of Sentuo Steel said that “There are too many loopholes in the system, so there are people who are not manufacturers but traders who bring in these coils and from their backyard cut them into pieces and sell and we cannot compete with them.”

Mr Andoh said that “They bring them in as downstream material, but we know that downstream coil does not go beyond 6mm diameter, which is used for nails, wire mesh and so on. When it goes beyond 6mm diameter you know straight away that they are importing them as iron rods.”

Some of the coils are also said to be inferior mild-steel coils, making their use for the purpose of construction a potentially dangerous undertaking.

The steel manufacturers have made a formal complaint to the Trade Ministry, which is said to have a list of the companies that are importing the coil. No effective action has however been taken yet on the matter.

The industry has already been reeling under the weight of the smuggling of its major source of raw material ferrous metal scrap out of the country, leaving behind low quality scrap with a very low recovery rate.

Source – Ghana Web

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