India: Govt initiates probe into alleged circumvention of anti-dumping duties on ceramic tableware from China

01/10/2020 12:00 - 27 total view

The Centre has initiated an investigation on alleged circumvention of anti-dumping duties imposed on imports of ceramic tableware and kitchenware (excluding knives and toilet items) from China by exporting the items from Malaysia.

“The investigation has been initiated by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies following representations from the domestic industry stating that it has reasons to suspect that ceramic tableware and kitchenware items from China were being routed into India through Malaysia to avoid paying anti-dumping duties that were announced on Chinese items in February 2018,” an official tracking the matter told BusinessLine.

In December 2017, after carrying out extensive investigations on imports of ceramic tableware and kitchenware (excluding knives and toilet items) from China, the designated authority had established that the items were being sold in India at prices below those in the exporting country market and this was causing injury to the domestic industry. It had thus recommended imposition of anti-dumping duties of $1.04 per kg (over and above the basic customs duty) on imports from China which was notified by the Finance Ministry subsequently

The domestic industry, however, is apprehensive that the anti-dumping duties are being circumvented or avoided by channelising of Chinese products through Malaysia. In its representation to the DGTR, the Ceramic Tableware & Kitchenware Manufacturers Association, on behalf of the domestic industry, presented a number of reasons or evidence based on which it sought anti-circumvention investigations.

The complainant pointed out that there have been significant changes in the pattern of trade whereby imports from China of the items have declined and imports from Malaysia have increased significantly from 2017-18. This was the time when the anti-dumping duties of the items were imposed on imports from China. Moreover, exports were mostly taking place from Malaysia via exporters that are not producers of the subject goods.

Non-availment of concessions

“There is also evidence of non-availment of concessions under both Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (MICECA) and the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA) indicating that the requirement of value addition is not being fulfilled by the exporters in Malaysia,” as per the DGTR initiation notification on September 25 2020.

The industry request also contains sufficient prima facie evidence that the prices of the product under investigation are also dumped, the DGTR noted. The imports are also undercutting the prices of the domestic industry.

“The Authority on the basis of prima facie evidence provided by the applicant notes that there is a change in the pattern of trade wherein imports of products under investigation from Malaysia are increased to significant level since 2017-18 without any sufficient cause or economic justification thereby undermining the remedial effects of the existing anti-dumping measure imposed on imports of product under investigation from China PR,” the notification stated.

The authority, therefore, recommends provisional assessment on all imports of ceramic tableware and kitchenware, excluding knives and toilet items from Malaysia till the completion of this review, it added.

The period of investigation for the present investigation is April 2019- March 2020 and the injury period will cover the periods 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and the period of investigation.