Dti deals with poultry imports concerns

Pretoria - The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) says it has noted concerns raised by the poultry industry on the increase in imports of poultry products.

“Government, through the dti and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), has been working with the domestic industry to address the challenges in the industry,” said the dti on Friday.

Over the last three years, upon application by the industry through the International Trade and Administration Commission (ITAC), a number of actions were taken by government to address the challenges in the industry.

Measures taken include an increase in tariffs covering a number of poultry products in line with South Africa’s international commitments and imposing trade remedies where evidence indicates dumping of poultry in the South Africa market or where there is a surge in imports. 

In 2013, the import duty on a number of poultry products was increased significantly.

The current import duties for chicken imports from countries like Brazil and the United States are as follows:

  • Whole bird: 82%
  • Carcasses: 31%
  • Boneless cuts: 12%
  • Offal: 30%
  • “Bone-in” portions: 37%

The import duties, however, are not applicable to imports from the European Union (EU), since South Africa has a preferential trade agreement with the EU.

In 2015, anti-dumping measures ranging from 3.86% to 73.33% were imposed on frozen bone-in chicken pieces from Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

“The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa has also initiated a safeguard investigation regarding the surge of imports of frozen bone-in chicken pieces from the EU and this investigation is far advanced,” said the department.

Opening up markets for SA

The dti and DAFF are continuously working on opening new markets for South Africa’s poultry exports.

“Recently, new markets in the Middle East have been opened and present a further opportunity for export to the domestic poultry industry in South Africa.

“Furthermore, the dti is in the process of considering the designation of domestic poultry products for purposes of public procurement,” the department said.

A national committee has been established by the dti that includes DAFF and the industry. It will consider all the challenges experienced by the domestic poultry industry and develop a comprehensive strategy to address these challenges in a holistic and sustainable manner.

The department said industry is welcome to approach ITAC through the normal processes, should further support be required. On the basis of information presented by industry, appropriate action can be taken by government.

Avian flu

The dti said a number of countries are currently experiencing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks and consequently -- in line with the guidelines of the World Organisation for Animal Health -- South Africa has placed a ban on imports of poultry from some countries such as Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands and Poland.

“DAFF is closely monitoring the developments in regard to these outbreaks and will take the appropriate actions to address any health and safety concerns,” it said. – SAnews.gov.za