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India to levy taxes on measuring tapes amid dumping from China

July 13, 2020 06:52 AM

COURTESY HT JULY 13

India to levy taxes on measuring tapes amid dumping from China
Rajeev Jayaswal

letters@hindustantimes.com

New Delhi : India has imposed anti-dumping duty on steel and fibre glass measuring tapes and their components originating from China and other countries after finding that the Chinese products were entering India through locations such as Singapore and Cambodia to circumvent Indian laws, government officials said.

The finance ministry not only imposed the anti-dumping duty on Chinese measuring tapes on July 8, but also extended it to imports from other sources so that the Chinese products are not re-routed through a third country, the officials said, requesting anonymity.

As influx of measuring tapes and their components from China had been hurting the domestic industry, prompting the government to impose anti-dumping duties on them from July 9, 2015. The punitive duties would have expired on July 8.

An investigation launched in December last year found that while imports of these items from China had declined after the imposition of the duties, there was a significant jump in their imports from other countries such as Singapore and Cambodia although they do not manufactures these products, the officials cited above said.

The finance ministry then imposed anti-dumping duty of $1.83 per kg on steel measuring tapes and their components, and $2.56 per kg on fibre glass tapes and their components originating from China or any other country for five years from July 8, 2020, one of the officials said.

The decision was taken after a thorough investigation by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), a second official said. DGTR is a single-window agency seeking to provide a level playing field to domestic industry against unfair trade practices of countries like China.

Evidence show that there are no producers in Cambodia and Singapore, and Chinese producers are apparently exporting through these countries, the official cited above said, quoting DGTR’s investigation report. HT reviewed a copy of the report.

“Examination of the evidence is indicative of the fact that significant imports have been reported from Cambodia and Singapore, which are allegedly Chinese origin products,” the report said.

Dumping is an unfair trade practice that entails the export of a product at a price lower than its value and is countered by a punitive duty, which is an acceptable measure under multilateral trade agreements.

Mekhla Anand, partner at law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas said such cases were noticed by government that saw amendment of the Customs Tariff Rules, 1995 last year to widen the scope of anti-circumvention measures.

“Anti-dumping duty measures have to be coupled with measures to prevent circumvention of the rules so as to ensure that the domestic industry is not unfairly targeted by non-domestic players,” she said

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