Assofermet asks authorities to drop scrap export regulations

Italian trade association Assofermet is asking for a meeting with steelmakers association Federacciai with a view to finding an amicable solution to the issue of authorities trying to hinder scrap exports from Italy.

The measure implemented in March 2022 by Italy’s economic development ministry (Mise) requiring scrap companies to notify authorities of every export sale was recently extended until 31 December 2026. Earlier this month, the government published a document obtained by Kallanish stating that with each deal, exporters are required to provide their company details, country of shipment destination, customer’s company details, customs code (TARIC), total weight and value of the cargo, and the export start date.

Prior to the update, sellers were required to wait 20 days from the date of declaration before being permitted to ship their cargo. This has now been extended to 60 days. Companies will have to notify the Ministero delle imprese e del made in Italy (MIMIT) and the foreign ministry, Ministero degli affari esteri e cooperazione internazionale (MAECI) (see Kallanish passim).

Assofermet says it opposes the extension of the notification period from 20 to 60 days. It is urging the government to drop the entire regulation, or at least the 60-day extension, returning to the expiry date of 31 December 2023 with a 20-day notification period. The 60 days delay “obliges exporters to plan operations far in advance compared to the past. It is almost impossible to be able to predict the date of export due to the numerous variables (logistics, contracts, etc) that necessarily intervene in these complex operations … International trade does not allow to agree on a price 60 days in advance, but 20 days at most,” Assofermet says in a note.

Italy exports a moderate amount of scrap, between 2% and 2.5% of domestic consumption, and the exported material often does not respond to domestic mills’ requirements. The Italian regulation also sets a limit for scrap stocks at recyclers’ yards. At certain times of year, namely when Italian steelmakers slow or suspend receiving scrap as happened in May and June due to holidays and production stoppages, recyclers have to find alternative ways to dispose of surplus material, the association argues.

The Italian steel industry’s scrap needs are abundantly covered, “not only by EU scrap collection being in surplus (compared to the needs of EU producers) but also by scrap coming from third countries that Italian mills sometimes buy in favourable market conditions to improve their competitiveness,” the note concludes.

Natalia Capra France