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Bond Relief Eludes Seafood Exports to US

US - Implementation of the decision of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to dismantle the continuous bond requirement (CBR) on import of seafood items from India and Thailand will be delayed further.

According to Business Standard, the US administration has adopted a delaying tactics to avoid implementation of the verdict that was announced on August 1, 2008. The cut-off date for the implementation of the decision is September 15, but the US administration has sought further clarification on the decision.

The Business Standard says that in this context, the WTO has called for a consultative meeting of India, Thailand and USA on September 10. G Mohankumar, chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) will be representing India at this crucial meeting, to be held at Geneva. The US administration is reportedly trying to postpone the implementation of DSB ruling.

DSB had adopted reports of panel of judges and Appellate Body in the cases filed by India and Thailand concerning CBR on export of shrimp to the US. DSB proclaimed that the bond requirement imposed by the US Customs since February 1, 2005, was illegal and in violation of global trade practices. This was a major breakthrough for both India and Thailand on the export of warm water shrimp. But Washington is reluctant to implement the decision in order to protect the domestic shrimp aquaculture sector.

Ellen Hardy

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