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Nia Griffith MP and other members of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Steel, met recently with Celsa Steel, the largest and most diversified steel long products producer in the EU. From their factory in Cardiff they produce 1.2 million tonnes of steel annually, all from recycled scrap metal.

They brought disturbing news about the standards of imported rebar, from outside the EU area. The concerns arise from suggestions that some is not fully compliant with the traceability requirements of the Certification Authority for Reinforcing Steels (CARES) system and is not compliant with the relevant British standard (BS 4449 2005)

In May, evidence was provided that labels, which should be attached at all stages of the supply chain identifying their source and cast number, were missing from some imports. CARES responded by warning fabricators that it was increasing the frequency of audits specifically for traceability.

In August, further evidence was presented that imported rebar was not compliant with BS 4449. This is currently being looked at by CARES.

Nia Griffith MP who is secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Steel Group, said:

“This is a very serious issue: we could be seeing our industry undercut by cheap imports, which could have very serious consequences both for our industry and for the safety of buildings.

The credibility of a scheme such as CARES provides, is hard to achieve, and takes time, and is a selling point for our steel. If that credibility is undermined by sub-standard imports from outside the EU, our industry will suffer.

We are seeking urgent meetings with Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for action to protect British firms.”