Importing Steel

oil and gas logistic

Importing Steel

importing steel
Oil Country Tubular Goods

One of the most costly mistakes a company can make occurs when it is importing steel.

Steel production in the US has been in decline for decades. Foreign mills can churn out high-quality low-cost steel cheaply. American mills have responded by lobbying Congress for strict, anti-import policies.

The main tool of such policies is the “Anti-Dumping Duty,” (or ADD).

Whether so-called dumping is economic sabotage or just a more competitive producer selling the same good for less is a matter of debate.

But the anti-dumping duty is real. It is extremely onerous. And an importer ignores it at their peril.

When importing steel, a company needs to know if it will run afoul of the ADD. You can search for cases that have been made for ADD.

The easiest way to do this is by consulting a customs broker before sourcing the steel.

Anti-Dumping Duties are very specific in what they target. Not all foreign steelmakers are targeted.

Also, one steelmaker isn’t targeted as a whole. Last, not all steel goods are targeted uniformly. Instead, specific commodities from specific mills in specific countries are subject to ADD.

It is hard to know if the supplier you will be importing steel from is subject to ADD without asking a knowledgeable customs broker.

About How to Ship When Importing Steel and Exporting Steel

importing steel
Bundled Rebar Steel

Really, there are two ways of shipping by ocean steel goods around the world. Container vessels are the first.

They are dependable, inexpensive, and they have regular and frequent travel times.

But there are limits one on the shape and size for the importing steel. The limits are based on the inside dimensions of the containers and a container’s maximum cargo weight capacity.

On the other hand, breakbulk ships have no such limitations.

Still, their drawback is that they are more costly, they sail less frequently, and not all ports are serviced by them.

There are other options, like ro/ro, but these options must be investigated on a case-by-case basis.

Shipping steel by air is an option as well.

However, it is rarely used because of the costliness of air freight. Only in special circumstances is it worthwhile to import unfinished steel by this mode.

Trucking steel in the US is the most used way of transporting limited quantities domestically.

We can help ship steel all throughout the lower 48 using flatbed trucks or more specialized equipment as need be.

Contact Texas International Freight to see what method best suits your needs when importing steel or exporting steel.

Steel Import SIMA Changes

The Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system was revised on 17th May 2019, bringing to an end the steel trade restrictions that were effected in 1962 by the Trade Expansion Act, under Section 232. This was after the US government made a joint decision with Canada and Mexico to lift tariffs that, for about 57 years, restricted the importation of steel and aluminium products from Canada and Mexico respectively. The changes were made official through a publication in the Federal Register on 30th March 2020.

The key drive behind the SIMA changes is to enhance the monitoring of steel product imports. The reasoning behind this move is that, when monitoring is timely and effective, it will be easier for authorities to regulate steel import surges and reduce cases of trans-shipment of steel products.

Information on Licenses

US-based importers, importing agents, and brokers of steel products, among other businesses importing or manufacturing steel mill products, will now be required to apply for steel licenses. A license will be needed for every shipment made. The licenses will reflect both the country of origin for the steel and the destination country for the finished product. The licenses will address most regulatory articles from Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

The current licensing program is temporary and will expire in March 2022, after which it will be revised, improved, and made permanent. One custom entry for low-value steel licenses costs $5000 as of now. Don’t you panic, though, because you can use one license to import up to ten products under one shipment. You will need an extra license if your shipment has more than 10 products or if you are dealing with multiple importers/exporters.


One license will be valid for 75 days from the date of issue. Apply for the license here.


%d bloggers like this: