Sappi Southern Africa welcomed the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa’s announcement to support local manufacturing and employment by introducing a general rate of duty for coated fine paper.

The rate has been set at the bound rate of 5% and will be reviewed after five years. Such a tariff exists in most countries, including in all BRICS countries.

The duties will support the local industry’s response to the increase in imports of cheap coated fine paper into the SACU region, undermining the significant investment made by the domestic industry throughout the printing value chain. The duties will also bring certainty to the trading environment and support Sappi’s ability to invest in its operations in South Africa.

The Commission concluded that a moderate increase in the general rate of duty on coated fine paper would improve the domestic industry’s competitive position without an undue cost-raising impact on downstream industrial consumers.

Sappi, as a member of the Manufacturing Circle, supports the Buy Back SA campaign jointly launched by the Manufacturing Circle and the Department of Trade and Industry and has recently invested over R3 billion in increasing its local dissolving wood pulp production capacity at its Ngodwana Mill near Nelspruit.

Sappi continues to actively support the overall paper and printing value stream in South Africa.