As part of programmes aimed at fighting against fake products, Steel Alliance Against Counterfeiting, together with Interpipe, Construction Week and MEP Middle East, initiated a survey on the presence of fake steel in the GCC. It facilitated the current situation, with anxieties and estimations of key industry players, to come into the light.
The survey involved 70 major contractors, consultants and product suppliers. The obtained results show deep concern of industry players on the presence of fake steel products that pose a risk to the construction business, mainly, financial, health and safety. Negative influence of fake steel products was confirmed by 84% of the respondents in the GCC. More than a half of them (53%) dealt with fake steel products and confirmed the same for their colleagues (52%).
Another key pillar for business sustainability is a high quality. The majority of respondents (98%) highlighted a high risk posed by fake steel products to the steel industry in the region. The high quality was positioned as being mandatory for any construction materials (90%). Seventy-nine percent of the market players came to the conclusion that it is highly important to use genuine products in construction projects around the Gulf and to have the support of manufacturers of steel products during the execution of construction projects.
Leading market players seek authorities’ steadfast support. Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe that the steel industry should be regulated more strictly in the GCC countries and 43% of them think that the governmental bodies ought to provide more support to fight against counterfeiting in the steel industry.
In recent years, the problem of fake steel in the GCC market has increased. To fight counterfeiting, leading European steel producers united with Steel Alliance Against Counterfeiting. The Alliance works with the main stakeholders within the construction segment to narrow down the safety risks of using precarious goods.
Andrey Burtsev, commercial director for Middle East, Africa and Asia markets, Interpipe said: “Cities in GCC region are powerful examples of next-generation settlements with growing state-of-the-art technologies and infrastructure like the upcoming Hyperloop in UAE. So there is no place for fake ‘business approaches’ and uncertainty of quality of any material for construction projects. Counterfeit steel is a recognized challenge in the industry. As we can see by the survey, the major of respondents acknowledged that the presence of fake products affects their businesses and highlighted the importance of high quality level of construction materials used in projects in GCC. The survey results speak for themselves – counterfeit steel products pose significant risk.”
The majority of respondents placed significant importance on having genuine steel products for the GCC construction projects. This shows that there is a certain awareness of the problem. One respondent from the survey stated: “Fake steel products are damaging the economy and the reputation of businesses and projects is affected. The goods supplied are not worth the value that is paid. The steel products are sometimes used for some critical application, and in case fake steel is used, it can be dangerous.”
Lino D’Onofrio, managing director, Raccortubi Group, underlined: “Feeling the importance of usage of genuine products, we asked our customers to fill the survey. It is frightening to see that more than 50% of all respondents were faced with counterfeit steel products. We want product suppliers and end-users to join forces to protect the industry. As steel product suppliers, we ought to continue our activities to raise awareness of how counterfeit steel products can be recognized and to keep cooperation with distributors, contractors and GCC countries authorities. This is the only way to protect life safety and buildings operation.”