India Plans to Appeal Against WTO Panel Decision to Uphold Japan and EU’s Complaints Over ICT Import Levies
India will appeal against a ruling of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) trade dispute settlement panel which ruled that the country’s import dues on certain information and technology products are inconsistent with the global trade norms, commerce ministry sources said.
They said that the ruling will not have any adverse impact on domestic industry.
The appeal will be filed by India in the WTO’s appellate body, which is the final authority on such trade disputes, they said.
The dispute panel of the Geneva-based WTO on Monday said the import duties imposed by India on certain informational and technology products violates global trading norms.
The ruling followed a dispute filed by the European Union, Japan and Taiwan against these duties in the WTO.
“We will be going for an appeal against the decision and there will be no adverse impact on our industry,” the commerce ministry sources added.
The EU on April 2, 2019 had challenged the introduction of import duties by India on a wide range of ICT products, for instance, mobile phones and components, base stations, integrated circuits and optical instruments.
The European Union had claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with certain provisions of the WTO.
Later Chinese Taipei and Japan have also joined the dispute.
According to WTO rules, a WTO member or members can file a case in the Geneva-based multilateral body if they feel that a particular trade measure is against the norms of the WTO.
Bilateral consultation is the first step to resolve a dispute. If both sides are not able to resolve the matter through consultation, either of them can approach for the establishment of a dispute settlement panel. The panel’s ruling or report can be challenged at the World Trade Organization’s appellate body.
Interestingly, the appellate body of the WTO is not functioning because of differences among member countries to appoint members in this body. Several disputes are already pending with the appellate body. The US has been blocking the appointment of the members.
Even if the body, which is the final arbiter on such trade disputes, starts working from now, it would take over an year to take up India’s appeal.
According to trade experts, if the appellate body also passes a ruling against India’s support measures, New Delhi will have to abide by that and make appropriate changes in the way it provides those measures.
Last year, India had appealed against a ruling of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) trade dispute settlement panel which ruled that the country’s domestic support measures for sugar and sugarcane are inconsistent with global trade norms.