Canada & Thailand Seek to Join WTO Consultations For India’s Tariff for ICT Products

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Canada and Thailand had expressed interest to join consultations in a case filed by the European Union in the WTO against India’s import duties on certain ICT products, including mobile phones. On April 9 this year, the European Union (EU) dragged India into the WTO’s (World Trade Organisation) dispute settlement mechanism over Indian import duties on nine categories of information and communications technology (ICT) products, including mobile phones and components, base stations, integrated circuits and optical instruments.

They have alleged that imposition of duties infringes WTO norms as India has committed zero per cent bound tariffs on these products. While bound tariffs or duties refer to the ceiling over which a WTO member country can not impose import duty, the applied tariff is the duty which is currently in place. The EU has alleged that despite India’s legally binding commitment in the WTO that it would not charge any import duty on ICT products, India has been applying duties ranging from 7.5 per cent to 20 per cent. “These import duties are therefore in clear breach by India of WTO rules. The levies affect EU exports worth 600 million euros per year,” the EU has said.

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