Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » DTI imposes safeguard duty on float glass imports

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has ordered the imposition of provisional safeguard duty on float glass, both clear and tinted, to protect the domestic industry from rising imports of the product.

The provisional safeguard duty is in the form of cash bond amounting to P2,552 per metric ton (mt) for clear float glass and P2,835 per mt for tinted float glass, including reflective glass under AHTN (ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature) 7005.10.90. This will be imposed for a period of 200 days from the date of issuance of the relevant order from the Bureau of Customs (BOC), or 15 days after the publication of DTI Department Order (DO) 19-16 in two newspapers of general circulation, whichever comes earlier.

“The Department, acting under Section 7 of RA (Republic Act) 8800, the Safeguard Measures Act, found after preliminary determination that increased imports of the products under consideration have caused serious injury to the domestic industry, particularly in terms of declining market share, domestic sales, capacity utilization, production, employment, profitability and increased inventories,” according to DO 19-16 signed by Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez on July 22.

It added that landed costs of imports were found to be lower than the ex-plant prices of the domestic product.

These findings were the result of DTI’s preliminary probe conducted upon the petition of the sole float glass maker in the country, Pioneer Float Glass Manufacturing Inc. (PFGMI). The investigation period was from 2013 to 2017, with updated data from 2018 also presented.

Under DO 19-16, imports originating from developing countries covered by Rule 8.8 of the implementing rules and regulations of RA 8800 shall not be subject to the provisional safeguard measure.

Importers of clear and tinted float glass including reflective glass originating from a country that is exempt from the safeguard duty shall submit a certificate of origin issued by the authorized agency/office in the source country of manufacture with “Apostille” affixed to the document, or authenticated by the Philippine embassy/consulate general.

The European Union (EU) had earlier asked to have the investigation into float glass importation stopped, stating that it does not consider a safeguard as the appropriate case.

“One certain country is responsible for 85 percent of the import of float glass into the Philippines, and accounts for virtually the entire rise in imports since 2013. All other exporters combined account for less than 5 percent. A more appropriate instrument should have been used, like antidumping and countervailing instruments,” the EU said in an earlier statement.

Clear float glass is used for exterior and interior window and door openings, curtain walls, huge scenic openings (glacade-suspended glass systems), showcase windows, furniture applications (tabletops, dressers, etc.), interior room partitions and basic glass for mirrors, heat-treated safety glass, laminated glass, and ballistic glass.

Tinted float glass, on the other hand, is used for exterior and interior window and door openings, curtain walls, scenic openings, furniture applications, interior room partitions and basic glass for tinted mirrors, automotive tempered glass, building tempered and heated-strengthened safety glass, ballistic glass, and decorative applications.

Citing data from BOC, DTI’s preliminary findings showed that the volume of imported clear float glass increased from 2013 to 2016. In 2017, the imports of the product declined following the anti-dumping measure imposed on clear float glass from China.

However, in 2018, imports rose to 65%. In 2019 (January to April), imports were 48% higher than the 2018 level.

It was observed that during the period of investigation, imports of clear float glass showed an upward trend which is recent, sharp, sudden and significant.

For tinted float glass, imports rapidly increased from 2013 to 2015. In 2013-2014, imports increased by 19,099 mt or by 301%. While imports continue to increase in 2015 at a rate of 119%, they declined by 9% in 2016 and further by 11% in 2017 (the period when anti-dumping duty was imposed on bronze float glass from China). In 2018, imports increased by 49% over 2017 level. In 2019, (January to April), imports were already 74% of 2018 level.

Major suppliers of tinted float and reflective glass during the period of investigation were China, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

While imports increased, the domestic industry registered sustained losses from 2013 to 2017 from operations of clear float glass, but recovered and registered net profit before tax in 2018.

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