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September 2018

International Trade Amicus: July 2018

by Jayant Raghu Ram

Panel report in Australia - Plain packaging: A “Healthy” verdict

WTO recently circulated the panel report in the Plain Packaging complaints brought against Australia by five WTO members. The Australian measures require that retail packaging have physical features that are plain and be drab dark brown in colour. The purpose of the measures is to discourage tobacco consumption by making the retail packages unattractive to consumers. The panel report is a shot in the arm for governments who are interested in curtailing consumption of junk food and carbonated beverages.
The panel dismissed the claims based on TRIPS Agreement and the TBT Agreement. The panel report establishes jurisprudence on issues concerning the intersection of IPR and trade-related measures. However, Australia’s claim that measures were based on the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which is an international standard, was rejected observing that FCTC provisions did not constitute a "standard". Further, according to the author, the wiggle room still available to tobacco manufacturers is to innovate with their wordmarks in order to add weight to the distinction between different tobacco brands.

 

Trade Remedy News

  • 4, 4 Diamino Stilbene 2, 2 Disulphonic Acid from China – India initiates sunset review
  • Acetone from European Union, Singapore, South Africa and USA – India initiates sunset review
  • Belting Fabric from China – Indian authorities issue final findings terminating ADD investigation
  • Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber from India – USA issues anti-dumping duty orders
  • Grinding Media Balls from China and Thailand – India imposes definitive anti-dumping duty
  • High Tenacity Polyester Yarns from China – India imposes definitive anti-dumping duty
  • Jute Products from Bangladesh – Two new shipper reviews initiated by India
  • Large Diameter Welded Pipe from India – USA issues Preliminary affirmative CVD determination
  • New/unused Pneumatic Radial Tyres from China – India issues notification for provisional assessment during pendency of new shipper review
  • Oxalic Acid from India – European Union maintains anti-dumping duty after sunset review
  • Saccharin from Indonesia – Indian authorities extend period for submission of questionnaire response till 10-8-2018
  • Solar Cells whether or not assembled in modules or panels – Indian authorities issue final findings recommending imposition of safeguard duty

 

WTO News

  • Tobacco plain packaging requirements - Honduras files appeal against panel report
  • United States initiates disputes against five members over duties on US products
  • US duties on Canadian paper - Panel report issued
  • Japan initiates WTO dispute against Korean duties on stainless steel bars

 

India Customs & Trade Policy Update

  • Asia Pacific Trade Agreement – India cuts import tariff
  • Advance Authorisation on net to net basis – Procedure laid down for accountability of inputs
  • DGFT notifies procedure for ‘No incentive certificate under MEIS’
  • Export duty on iron ore and concentrates for Japan and South Korea reduced

 

Ratio decidendi

  • Denial of refund of Terminal Excise Duty is detrimental to exporters and economy – Notification restricting refund is not retrospective – Delhi High Court
  • Anti-dumping – Scope of “Ordinary course of trade” – High levels of profitability alone in-home market not relevant – US Court of International Trade

 

July, 2018/Issue-85 July, 2018/Issue-85

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