WTO: India to block EU’s WTO panel request

Economy


NEW DELHI: India will block the European Union’s request for a dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against New Delhi’s customs duties on imports of certain information and communications technology (ICT) products. The request is scheduled to come up this week. “We will block it in the first instant,” said an official.

The EU initiated dispute proceedings last year alleging India levied excess tariffs than what it had committed to in its tariff schedule at the WTO for products including electronic transformers, telephone sets, particularly cell phones, transmission apparatus for radio or television broadcasting and electronic integrated circuits, television cameras, digital cameras and video camera recorders. India levied 10% customs duty on mobile phones and some other ICT products for the first time in July 2017 and increased it to 15% that year. The duties were further increased to 20%.

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Stating that India has bound the ad valorem duty rate for these products at zero, EU claimed that the duty rate applied is up to 20% and these “adversely affect exports of goods” from the EU to India.

New Delhi has argued that most of the items identified by the EU and others were not covered under the Information Technology Agreement as these did not exist in 1996 and the tariff lines were not included in the agreement.



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