GCC: 53% of construction professionals have encountered fake steel

More than half of GCC construction professionals have encountered inauthentic steel products, according to a Steel Alliance Against Counterfeiting survey

Andrey Burtsev is Interpipe's commercial director for the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Andrey Burtsev is Interpipe's commercial director for the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Counterfeit steel products affect more than half of GCC construction professionals.

This was among the findings of a survey commissioned by the Steel Alliance Against Counterfeiting (SAAC), an organisation of 18 suppliers of steel pipes, flanges, and fittings.

The survey, which sought to raise awareness over the presence of counterfeit steel in the GCC market, was completed by 70 respondents, including 42 suppliers, 21 contractors, and seven consultants.

According to SAAC's findings, 70% of respondents expressed awareness of the problem, with 53% saying that they have personally encountered fake steel products during their day-to-day operations.

SAAC further noted that 69% of the survey's respondents were of the opinion that the GCC market needs stricter regulations against counterfeiting, while 79% said they are in favour of tighter controls over the import of steel products from certain markets.

Commenting on the survey's results, Andrey Burtsev, commercial director for the Middle East, Africa, and Asia at Interpipe, said: “Cities in the GCC region are shining examples of technology adoption and ground-breaking architectural feats. There is absolutely no place for any uncertainty or spurious practices that compromise their infrastructure.

“The survey indicates [that] counterfeit steel products continue to pose significant risks across sectors and in critical installations like oil rigs, pipelines, and oil refineries. Through this study, we are supporting key governmental initiatives and procedures that protect society and sustain economic development.”

Burtsev noted that government policies, particularly in the UAE, prescribe very high standards for the materials used in buildings and installations.

Bertrand de Rotalier, managing director of Vallourec, commented: “We cannot emphasise enough the dangers of counterfeit material usage in our sector. 

“At SAAC, we believe that the private and public sectors should work closely to curb this illicit traffic of fake steel. We have a number of concrete recommendations that we believe will help to reduce and possibly eradicate the presence of inferior and dangerous steel products.”

The alliance is reportedly working with the industry to develop measures that will allow it to detect counterfeit material and forged certificates. It is also carrying out trans-border investigation and initiating legal action against counterfeiters. 

Lino D’Onofrio, managing director of Raccortubi Group, added: “It is frightening to see that more than half of the respondents have been faced with counterfeit steel products. We call on product suppliers and end-users to join our efforts and help protect lives and the integrity of structures.”

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