MUMBAI, India India is
taking a tougher stance on steel imports, with previously
allowed products facing import restrictions beginning April
Mills seeking to sell their
steel products into India must register with the Bureau of
Indian Standards (BIS) in New Delhi unless the products are on
the bureaus import exemption list.
Products no longer to be exempt
starting April 1 include hot-rolled coil less than
6-millimeters thick and plate more than 80-mm thick.
Indias Central Board of
Excise and Customs hasnt received further amendments to
the latest BIS notification restricting imports from steel
mills not registered with the agency, customs commissioner
Yogendra Garg said. Indian importers will still be able to
import certain steel products specifically excluded from the
However, a lack of clarity on
whether material grades in exporting nations are equivalent to
those in India has importers unsure if they can risk bringing
in steel products listed as exempt from the order.
"The order is not very clear,"
one Indian importer said. "It says that some of the items are
allowed to be imported, but how can we be sure if the customs
department will allow it, as the grades of material will be
(defined by) the exporting country? We do not know for sure
what the comparable grade in India will be. Everything will
depend on whether we can convince the customs officer that
these grades are exempt. There is no comparative table that has
been drawn up. For example, Chinese SS400 is equivalent to
Indian IS2062, but the comparison of most other grades can
easily be disputed by the customs officer."
Boron-added steel can still be
imported even if the exporting mill hasnt registered with
Some materials, such as
cold-rolled coil, which generally are imported in huge
quantities, also are exempt from the BIS restrictions.
Most Chinese companies exporting
to India havent yet registered with the BIS, a second
"(Chinese) material cannot be
imported unless there is boron content in it," a trader
Some large mills that have
registered with the BIS include ArcelorMittal SAs
operations in Brazil, Romania and Spain; South Koreas
Posco Ltd.; China Steel Corp., Taiwan; and JFE Steel Corp. and
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., both based in
Most traders said that, to their
knowledge, Russian and Ukrainian mills havent yet
registered with the BIS, which will make imports from these
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Steel First.