Titanium dioxide is a chemical that makes things white. Paints, plastics and so on.
Ferro South Africa (a chemical, not a steel company), applied for a rebate on titanium oxide (tariff code 3206.11) used in the manufacture of white masterbatch (tariff code 3206.19.90).
The reasons provided for the rebate application are many and varied, but the important ones are:
- There is no local manufacturer of titanium dioxide. There used to be, but Huntsman closed their local plant ages ago and there is still a 10% duty on titanium dioxide.
- Titanium dioxide’s global price has been climbing and given that the duty is an ad valorem duty (percentage of value as opposed to a fixed duty, which is set in Rands per kg), the duty increases in size as the price rises.
- Apparently a company called Nyanza Light Metals is setting up a plant to manufacture titanium dioxide, but this is not yet up and running. The application is for a temporary rebate though, which means when the product is available locally, the rebate can be withheld and when it is not, it can granted.