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Country of Origin

Country  of origin: In trading of steel the country of origin is a very frequently asked question.

What does country of origin mean?

Trade laws between individual  countries are formed to balance between  the import, export and consumption of  steel. Steel needs to be traded on  fair, and open markets as called by  the world trade organization. Unfair practices  in trading steel can happen in two  forms 1. subsidized 2. dumping. Subsidized  : Few companies receive benefits ( either  financial or indirect support)  from the  government making them compete unfairly in  the open markets. Dumping: selling a product  to a price less than the cost of  production or the price of product in  the manufacturing country. These trades are  monitored by the customs department of  individual countries based on the trade  laws and trade treaties. So, for logistics  it is important to know the country  of origin and that definition changes  on the factors such as physical change  in the product attributes, or the amount  of value added to the product, or  the percent of manufacturing done on the  product in that country.

Country  of Origin of steel:  A quality question?

The country of origin  of steel is the geographic country in  which the actual steel mill that casted  the melted steel in the form of billet  or ingot is located. Country of origin  of steel took its predominance when industrial  sectors started realizing quality problems  in steel supplied by developing or under  developed countries.  So, restrictions were  imposed by nuclear, aerospace, military, navy,  oil& gas sectors in purchasing procedures  on the countries which can supply steel.

How to obtain information  on country of origin of steel? Every  material purchased has a material test  certificate or Mill certificates which has  heat number. Heat number is a unique number which traces down to information on specific furnace used, process applied, date of melt, testing, in a steel mill. Steel mill certificate is an objective evidence in determining the country of origin.