• Monday, May 27, 2024


India violated global trading rules, says WTO panel

The EU challenged India’s introduction of import duties of between 7.5 per cent and 20 per cent

FILE PHOTO: A logo is seen at the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters before a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

By: Pramod Thomas

A World Trade Organization panel said that India had violated global trading rules in a dispute with the European Union, Japan and Taiwan over import duties on IT products.

“We recommend that India bring such measures into conformity with its obligations,” the WTO panel’s report said on Monday (17).

In 2019, the EU challenged India’s introduction of import duties of between 7.5 per cent and 20 per cent for a wide range of IT products, such as mobile phones and components, as well as integrated circuits, saying they exceeded the maximum rate. Japan and Taiwan filed similar complaints that same year.

The EU is India’s third largest trading partner, accounting for 10.8 per cent of total Indian trade in 2021, according to the European Commission.

Brussels said in a statement that up to $654.66 million of its exports were directly affected by India’s tariffs on an annual basis.

“Respect for the rules-based trading system is vital for a good trade relationship,” its trade department added in a tweet, describing the tariffs as “illegal”.

India’s diplomatic mission in Geneva did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it would appeal against the ruling. If it does, the case will sit in legal purgatory since the WTO’s top appeals bench is no longer functioning due to US opposition to judge appointments.

The WTO panel said that India had already brought some of the challenged tariffs into line with global trading rules since last year. While the panel broadly backed the complaints against India, it rejected one of Japan’s claims that New Delhi’s customs notification lacked “predictability”.


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