Visakhapatnam, Sept 24: The Indian seafood industry is expecting a favourable outcome of the ongoing “Sunset review” on anti-dumping. This protectionist tariff is imposed by the United States for imports that it classifies as sold below exporters’ domestic value and thereby “dumped” in its markets.
Indian seafood exporting companies are currently charged a duty of about 2.5 per cent and a further easing is bound to increase exports of Indian shrimps into the US.
Speakers at a technical forum on Marine and seafood trade at the 20th India International Trade Fair, currently underway here, said the industry had never “dumped” frozen shrimps in the US.
The rigid stand taken by the US, generally seen as a move to protect its own domestic market while creating more employment opportunities, has resulted in Indian seafood industries paying a hefty sum of over US$15 million as Anti-dumping duty (ADD), until the year 2015. These amounts, the speakers felt, would not have been paid but for “zeroing”, a practice used to artificially inflate dumping margins.
According to the speakers, this duty was provisional in the US in the year 2004 and stood at 10.17 per cent. It was later reduced, giving exporters a refund on the excess duty paid. They pointed out that the system may soon undergo a change and if exporters were able to prove that they did not stand to gain an ADD margin, the next Sunset review might just be won.
As per the US anti-dumping laws, ADD margins are decided after choosing and studying all details of the exporting company. The US under pressure from several exporting countries like India, Thailand, China and Vietnam is now considering lifting anti-dumping duties.
India is one of the largest exporters of shrimps to the US and it is felt that any further increase in ADD will result in a shift to other markets which may not be as consistent.
The speakers at the technical session were Mr. Santosh Kumar Sarangi, Joint Secretary (EP-MP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India, Mr. RaghavanRamabadran, Partner, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan, Chennai, Mr. Elias Sait, Secretary General, Seafood Exporters Association of India, Mr. K Shivakumar, Consultant, SEAI, Mr. Tapan Mazumder, Director (Rules Desk), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India, Mr. Nirdosh Chopra, Regional Manager, ECGC Ltd., Bangalore.
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