Vietnam Hot Rolled Steel Exempt from Morocco's Safeguard Duty

Vietnam Hot Rolled Steel Exempt from Morocco's Safeguard Duty

Steel NewsDate: 16-08-2023 by: Ngoc Cam

Recently, the Trade Remedies Department has just received information that Morocco has issued a conclusion to review safeguard duties on imported hot-rolled steel for products with HS codes 72.08, 72.11.13, 72.11.14, 72.11.19, 72.25.30, 72.25.40,,,, .59, 72.26.91 and Vietnam's hot-rolled steel continues to be exempt from Morocco's safeguard duty because of a developing country with negligible imports.

1. Morocco imposed a safeguard duty of up to 25% on imported hot-rolled steel

According to data from the General Department of Trade - Ministry of Industry and Trade of Morocco, the country's imported hot-rolled steel output reached 107,213 in 2018, an increase of 32,725 tons compared to 2014. In addition, only in the first 7 months of 2018, Morocco imported 79,371 tons of HRC, equal to 74% of the total output of the previous year. The massive import of hot-rolled steel pushed domestic manufacturers to bankruptcy when production and consumption of hot-rolled steel plates decreased by 19.4% and 28% in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Faced with concerns about dumping by foreign importers causing difficulties for the domestic steel market, Moroccan authorities have initiated a safeguard investigation into hot rolled steel imported into the country on May 29, 2019. The products under investigation fall under the following HS code groups: 7208, 7211.13, 7211.14, 7211.19, 7225.30, 7225.40, 7226.20.00.11, 7226.20.00.21, 7226.20.00.30, 7226.20. 00.40, 7226.20.00.51, 7226.20.00.52, 7226.20.00.59, 7226.91, 7226.99.90.91 and 7226.99.90.99.


On October 22, 2019, the Moroccan government announced the imposition of a temporary safeguard duty of 25% on imported hot-rolled steel plates, effective for 200 days. After the sunset review, on June 19, 2020, the Moroccan government imposed a definitive anti-dumping duty on products with the above HS code group for a period of 3 years at a duty rate of 25%.

Some developing countries, including Vietnam, are exempt from duty because of their negligible import volume. On May 3, 2022, Morocco sent a notice to the WTO approving a request to reduce the safeguard duty rate on imported HRC products by 1% each subsequent year.


2. Vietnam hot rolled steel is not subject to Morocco's safeguard duty

On May 25, 2023, Morocco conducted a sunset review of safeguard measures for imported hot rolled steel products and decided to maintain the duty rate of 23% from June 19, 2023, to June 18, 2026, but reduce 1% each subsequent year. However, Vietnam continues to be excluded from the safeguard measure because of a developing country with negligible import volume.

According to World Trade Organization (WTO) statistics, by the end of 2021, Morocco has conducted 17 anti-dumping investigations and 12 global safeguard cases against imports into the country. 


3. Advantages of importing hot rolled steel from Vietnam

Vietnam has a self-sufficient source of hot rolled steel to serve domestic and export demand with a total production capacity of 12.8 million tons/year. All products are manufactured according to modern continuous casting and rolling production lines, which can reach a minimum thickness of 1.2 - 2mm to meet many international standards such as JIS, MS, SAE, BS, EN,...

Some fastidious markets such as Europe, the United States, Australia, the UK,... are significant for the certificate of origin, so the autonomy of hot-rolled steel produced in Vietnam has opened up many export opportunities across countries.

In addition to product quality, importing hot rolled steel from Vietnam also has the advantage of cost optimization due to cheap labor and abundant raw materials. Data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs said that steel export output in April 2023 reached 973,549 tons of iron and steel, reaching 812 million USD, up 11.4% and 18% respectively over the previous month. In the first 4 months of 2023, Vietnam exported 3.25 million tons of iron and steel with a value of 2.52 billion USD, up 0.6% in volume.

Importing hot-rolled steel from Vietnam into Morocco is exempt from safeguard duty, helping Moroccan importers access an ample HRC supply at a better price than other exporting countries. For all inquiries about the Vietnam steel market, please contact MRS Steel via Email at for 24/7 support.