HomeAgri NewsITAC Announces Definitive Tariffs on Frozen French Fry Imports

ITAC Announces Definitive Tariffs on Frozen French Fry Imports

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The South African potato industry welcomes the International Trade Administration Commission’s (ITAC) decision to reinstate import duties on frozen potato chips/French fries, after tariffs lapsed earlier this year. The decision, effective today, comes after the conclusion of an anti-dumping investigation initiated by the body in November 2021, examining the potential material impact of frozen potato chip imports on South Africa’s agriculture and agri-processing activities. 

“While trade and regional and global markets and economies are, of course, a priority, so is the protection of South Africa’s agricultural and manufacturing industries,” says Willie Jacobs, CEO of industry association, Potatoes SA. “The reality is that cheap or low-quality frozen potato chips entering the market could be detrimental to South African producers and the sector as a whole and could cause a surge in illicit trading activities. These regulations will go a long way in preventing this, allowing farmers who are currently expected to grow 2,5 million tons of potatoes this year, to thrive.”

Read more about the effect of moth damage to potatoes here.

Overall frozen fry import rates now stand at 67,33%, 239,10%, 181,05% for Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany respectively, similar to those outlined by ITAC in their Essential Facts finding in October 2022. SA is one of the few countries in the world with a local supply of fresh potatoes all year round, with an estimated 400 000 tons being processed between 2017 and 2021.

Anti-dumping tariffs will stabilise the industry

According to Jacobs, the implementation of anti-dumping tariffs can help level the industry playing field, ensuring fair competition. “By supporting local producers, we can promote job creation, foster economic growth, and maintain quality standards for the benefit of all stakeholders involved. This will also offer much-needed stability to consumers who are already facing significant pressures.”

Read more about the potato industry’s MoU with the Western Cape here.

ITAC’s research report, “Investigation into the alleged dumping of frozen potato chips from Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands: Final Determination” was released today, and can be downloaded here.

Detailed tariffs are outlined in the Government Gazette, Vol 695, No 48605– Press release, Spheralytical

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