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21 June 2018

India set to increase Customs duty on certain products from USA

India will from 4th of August increase Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on certain products originating from the United States of America. According to Notification Nos. 48 and 49/2018-Cus. issued yesterday (20-6-2018), goods falling under Chapter 05 (Artemia), 07 (edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers), 08 (edible fruits and nuts), 28 (inorganic chemicals), 38 (miscellaneous chemical products), 72 (iron and steel) and 73 (articles of iron and steel) will be liable to increased BCD.

The increase made in the Customs Tariff schedule itself by way of notification issued under Section 8A of the Customs Tariff Act observes that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action.

It may be noted that India on 13th of June had notified to the WTO its revised communication relating to its decision to suspend concessions and other obligations in connection with the safeguard measures taken by USA on imports of certain steel articles and aluminium with effect from 23-3-2018.

According to the communication made by the Delegation of India with the Council for Trade in Goods and Committee on Safeguards of World Trade Organisation, and circulated in WTO on 14-6-2018, India reiterated its decision to suspend concessions or other obligations under GATT 1994 that are substantially equivalent to the amount of trade affected by the measures imposed by USA.

Based on UN COMTRADE-WITS data, the document states that US is likely to collect USD 241 Million due to such measures. Accordingly, suspension of concessions or other obligations by India are equivalent to the amount of trade affected by the United States.

The commodities such as almonds fresh and dried, shelled almonds, apples fresh, other diagnostic reagents, etc. on which additional duty is imposed have a majority of share (about 157M out of total 241M) on import duty which is likely to be collected by the Indian Government as a result of this immediate turn of events in International trade.

It may be noted that the document G/L/1239/Rev.1 also proposes to impose additional duty of 15% and 50% on commodities such as Phosphoric acid and Motor Cycles exceeding 800cc, respectively.