Deryck Spence, Executive Director of the SA Paint Manufacturing Association (SAPMA), says there are also reports that Kenyan manufacturers of raw materials for paint production are about to follow suit. SAPMA has informed the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI) that the coatings sector has learnt that free trade agreements with Egypt are being negotiated and proposals sent to the southern African Customs Union for the introduction of zero import duty being introduced for Egyptian resin imports.
Spence told the DTI that SAPMA is perturbed that, although it represented 90% of the coating manufacturers and raw material and services suppliers in South Africa, it was not included in the importation discussions and negotiations that could have a disastrous effect on local manufacturing, as well as substantial job losses.
“Apart from the damaging effect such an agreement with Egypt would have on local manufacturers, Egyptian raw material suppliers have dumped sub-standard, low-priced material in South Africa before which then already caused significant problems and subsequent losses in the marketplace,” he advised the DTI.
“To make matters worse, there is at present no South African mandatory quality filter in place, such as the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) in Europe, for the importation of coatings and raw materials. This opens the door for unspecified, low quality finished products and raw materials being imported into the country. The coatings sector is already under threat of finished coatings which contain hazardous lead being imported from SADC and BRIC countries that do not have legislation to control the use of lead in paint,” explained Spence.
SAPMA also reminded the DTI that any product imported into SA would have to meet the compulsory specifications of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) and implored the DTI to utilise the services of the NRCS to control any imports that could threaten the survival of the industry.
“The coatings industry urgently requested the DTI to re-examine the details of the proposed tripartite free trade agreement and Egypt’s proposal to the SA Customs Union, and to take cognisance of the effect such a free trade agreement would have on local manufacturers who are already struggling for survival,” Spence states. SAPMA also asked the DTI to investigate the reports about imminent Kenyan imports being dumped in South Africa. For more information, call 011-615-1195.