Government Raises Duties On Steel Tubes and Pipes

Russia will raise a customs import tariff on some rolled steel products and on steel tubes and pipes to protect domestic producers from cheap imports, the government said Thursday.

A statement on the government web site said the tariffs would be in force for nine months, coming into effect one month after an order raising them is officially published in the government gazette.

The protectionist move comes after the government mulled ending import tariffs on some raw materials and steel products in order to contain rising prices before the global crisis acted to crimp demand from the country's industrial producers.

According to the legislation, tariffs on steel rods used in construction will increase to 15 percent from 5 percent.

Import duties on a range of steel tubes, such as those used by the oil and gas industry, will also increase by the same amount.

Certain types of steel tubes, however, such as those that can withstand high pressure will see import tariffs rise to 20 percent from 15 percent.

In a separate statement, the government said it will drop indefinitely a 5 percent import tariff on cold rolled stainless steel less than 0.35 millimeters thick and less than 60 centimeters wide containing less than 2.5 percent nickel used in motor vehicles and their parts, to stimulate domestic car production.

Last month, the government also abolished a range of other import duties on cold rolled steel products used in the auto industry in order to help domestic manufacturers.