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India loses IT duty case at World Trade Organisation

According to European Commission, EU is India’s third largest trading partner, accounting for 10.8 per cent of total Indian trade in 2021

Agencies Geneva Published 18.04.23, 04:45 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File photo

A World Trade Organisation panel said on Monday that India had violated global trading rules in a dispute with the European Union, Japan and Taiwan over import duties on IT products.

“We recommend that India bring such measures into conformity with its obligations,” the WTO panel’s report said.


In 2019, the EU challenged India’s introduction of import duties of between 7.5 per cent and 20 per cent for a wide range of IT products, such as mobile phones and components, as well as integrated circuits, saying they exceeded the maximum rate. Japan and Taiwan filed similar complaints that same year.

The EU is India’s third largest trading partner, accounting for 10.8 per cent of total Indian trade in 2021, according to the European Commission.

India’s commerce ministry sources said that the country would appeal against this ruling and it will not have any adverse impact on the domestic industry.

If it does, the case will sit in legal purgatory since the WTO’s top appeals bench is no longer functioning due to US opposition to judge appointments.

The WTO panel said that India had already brought some of the challenged tariffs into line with global trading rules since last year. While the panel broadly backed the complaints against India, it rejected one of Japan’s claims that New Delhi’s customs notification lacked “predictability”.

The panel findings said that with respect to the European Union’s claims that India’s tariff treatment of certain products is inconsistent with certain provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994”, we find that India’s tariff treatment of certain inconsistent...”.

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