Mexico investigates avoidance of duty payment on CIS plate imports

The Mexican Secretariat of Economy is investigating an alleged avoidance of payment of countervailing duties on the imports of carbon steel plates from Russia and Ukraine.

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The investigation has been opened following a request from Mexico’s biggest integrated steelmaker, Altos Hornos de México (Ahmsa), according to a resolution published in Mexico’s official gazette late last week.

Ahmsa alleges that some Mexican companies have been importing steel plates containing boron from Russia and Ukraine “in order to avoid paying anti-dumping duties” on plates without boron.

The respective 60.1% and 36.8% duties on plate imports from Ukraine and Russia were set up in 2005 and extended for five years from September 2010.

But boron-containing plates, which were exempted from the payment, started to be imported into Mexico following the implementation of the duties, Ahmsa argued.

“The Secretariat [of Economy] determined that there is sufficient evidence to presume that [companies] are making imports of products from Russia and Ukraine with minor differences from those products subject to anti-dumping duties,” the resolution read.

Plates being investigated are those with thicknesses up to 4.5 inches (115mm).

Authorities will investigate imports and their possible damage to the Mexican industry in the period January 1 to December 31 2012.

The resolution also mentions exporters who “might be interested” in taking part in the investigation, including Duferco, Salzgitter Mannesmann International, Metinvest, Severstal, and Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK).

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