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Shrimp duty final hearing on July 24

INDIA - The final hearing of the World Trade Organisations (WTO) anti-dumping panel, crucial for domestic shrimp exporters, has been scheduled for July 24.

The Indian marine export industry, especially the shrimp sector, has high hopes after the three day-long preliminary hearing held in Geneva from June 6-8.

The Indian delegation had argued strongly against the duty and the customs bond requirement and pointed out that the US Department of Commerce (DoC) had violated the WTO principles in calculating the anti-dumping duty. A highly placed source from the marine export sector told Business Standard that the US delegation had hitched their arguments on the issue of no filing of Q&A questionnaire for the first administrative review by 17 exporters from India. Hence the DoC had imposed the exorbitant punitive duty of 82.30 per cent on these exporters.

But the Indian side put up a strong defence on the ground that most of the exporters on the list had ceased exports to the US. The total export of all these 17 exporters comes to below one per cent of the total Indian exports to the US market.

The recent decision of the DoC in favour of Ecuador has also raised Indian hopes high. The DoC had decided to eliminate the anti-dumping duty on frozen warm-water shrimp imported from Ecuador.

The DoC has issued a preliminary ruling in this regard and the final ruling is expected by August 20, 2007.

According to the ruling, the 3.58 per cent duty imposed on Ecuador will be revoked in the light of a WTO order to recalculate the duty rates. Experts are of the view that the WTO instruction in the case of Ecuador might strongly influence India’s case.

Source: Business Standard