GENEVA Dec 5 Egypt has notified the World Trade Organization that it has imposed additional tariffs on raw and white sugar and steel rebar for 200 days from Dec. 2, to protect domestic producers from a surge in imports, WTO filings showed on Wednesday.
Egypt imposed a "provisional safeguard measure" of 17 percent of the CIF value of raw sugar imports, or a minimum of 591 Egyptian pounds ($96.60) per tonne, and 20 percent on white sugar, or a minimum of 713 pounds per tonne. On steel rebar, the tariff was 6.8 percent and not less than 299 pounds per tonne.
Developing countries are exempt from the additional tariffs as long as their shipments do not exceed three percent of Egypt's total imports each or nine percent together.
Such temporary emergency tariffs are allowed under WTO rules if a country can show a threat of serious damage to its domestic industry from an unexpected flood of imports.
For sugar producers, a large increase in import volumes had hit profits, capacity utilisation, sales and market share, Egypt's filing said. Inventories had increased and, with reduced sales, producers were forced to borrow from banks to pay farm wages. The large stockpiles also meant there would be no storage capacity to stock the harvest due in February.
For rebar, imports had fallen in 2010/2011 but rebounded with 85 percent growth to reach 641,000 tonnes in 2011/2012, pushing domestic producers into losses.
($1 = 6.1180 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Tom Miles; editing by Anthony Barker)