The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has acknowledged concerns raised by South Africa’s poultry industry with regard to the increase in poultry product imports.
Through the DTI and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), government has been working with the domestic industry to address these and other challenges faced by the industry.
Over the last three years, following an application by the industry through the International Trade and Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac), government has initiated a number of actions to address the challenges in the industry.
These actions include increasing tariffs covering a number of poultry products – in line with South Africa’s international commitments – and imposing trade remedies where evidence indicates the dumping of poultry in the South Africa market, or where there has been a surge in imports.
In 2013, the import duty on a number of poultry products was increased significantly from 82% for a whole bird to 12% for boneless cuts.
These import duties, however, are not applicable to imports from the European Union (EU), since South Africa has a preferential trade agreement with the EU.
However, in 2015, antidumping measures ranging from 3.86% to 73.33% were imposed on frozen bone-in chicken pieces from Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. Further, Itac has initiated a safeguard investigation with regard to the surge in imports of frozen bone-in chicken pieces from the EU; this investigation is far advanced, according to the DTI.
Moreover, 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, presenting further export opportunities for South Africa’s domestic poultry industry.
The DTI adds that it is in the process of considering the designation of domestic poultry products for public procurement purposes.
A national committee has been established by the DTI that includes DAFF and the industry. This committee will consider all the challenges experienced by the domestic poultry industry and will develop a comprehensive strategy to address these challenges in a holistic and sustainable manner.
Meanwhile, a number of countries are currently experiencing bird flu 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 Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands and Poland.
DAFF is closely monitoring the developments with regard to these outbreaks and will take the appropriate actions to address any health and safety concerns.