The deadline for the importers to register with Steel Import Monitoring System has lapsed this week. The government had extended the last date for SIMS registration to November 20 from November 1 as a one time relaxation. The government had made it compulsory for the importers of 215 iron and steel products to register with SIMS. The monitoring system set up by the department of commerce collects data on import of steel products.
A government notification issued on September 5 has changed the import policy on some iron and steel items from ‘free’ to ‘free subject to compulsory registration’. This affected will have to submit advance information about their imports on a system to obtain an automatic registration number. These items include stranded wire, ropes, cables, tubes and diesel locomotives. An importer is expected to register 15-60 days before the arrival of the item. The validity of the automatically generated registration number is for 75 days. The government’s introduction of compulsory registration had invited criticism from traders.
India imported 8.95 million tonne of steel in 2018, compared with 8.89 million tonne in 2017. The country is the 15th largest steel importer accounting for nearly 2% of the global steel imports. India imports steel items from about 160 countries.