Centre has made it mandatory for traders to register with the Steel Import Monitoring System.
London: In order to restrict imports of finished steel products from China, the government has made it mandatory for traders to register with the Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS). The SIMS currently keeps data of 215 types of imported iron, steel products that will be help the government in policy formulation in this regard.
According to officials of the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, about 70% of the country’s traders have already registered themselves with the SIMS and rest of the traders will soon follow suit.
The Steel Importing Monitoring System has been instituted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to provide advance information about steel imports to both the government as well as relevant stakeholders.
A senior DGFT official told The Sunday Guardian: “Registration with SIMS is mandatory and there is no escape from this. Every importer, trading in steel products will need to have a SIMS registration at the time of filling paper for clearance of their goods at customs. The registration process has been made broad-based where the importer will have to give information, including the manufacturer’s name, address, the origin of goods, and the reason for import.”
“The purpose of licencing is to provide statistical data on steel imports entering India prior to the arrival of the imports. Once a week, the data submitted on the steel licences are compiled, checked and published on the Ministry of Steel website. As per provision, a registration fee of Rs 1 per thousand subject to a minimum of Rs 500 and a maximum of Rs 1 lakh on aggregate Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of imports will be charged by the DGFT,” the same official cited above said.
The provisions have come at a time when Ministry of Steel under Dharmendra Pradhan has already sought for a curb on rising finished steel products import from China and has also suggested for increasing GST and imports duty on steel products, including certain flat-rolled products, stranded wire, ropes, cables, springs, tubes, pipes, drum, feed box, besides other products.
A senior Ministry of Steel official told The Sunday Guardian: “After US restrictions on import of Chinese steel, China is looking at alternative markets like India, but the ministry is prepared to protect domestic steel products manufacturers.”
“We are in the process of receiving steel product import data from the traders which will enable the ministry to propose policy steps to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The SIMS registration will also help the ministry to understand the demand for a particular product and then the ministry can encourage domestic manufacturers for manufacturing the same product on a similar price band,” the Ministry of Steel official said.
As per DGFT data of 2018-19, India’s position from net exporter has been turned into a net importer of steel. The reason behind this change is being said to be the rise in local demand for imported steel from Japan, Korea, and China.