wto orszagok 371586

The EU has won the battle in India

According to the announcement, in the decision of its investigation committee, the WTO upheld all of the EU’s objections against India and found that tariffs of up to 20 percent on certain ICT products, such as mobile phones, are not in line with India’s WTO commitments and are therefore illegal.

“Exports of technology products affected by illegally applied tariffs can amount to up to 600 million euros per year. Although this is a significant amount in itself, the actual impact on European companies exporting to India from other countries is significantly greater,” said the statement from Brussels. It was also announced that the WTO investigation committee confirmed that the imposed duties cannot be justified on the basis of any of the reasons put forward by India in the case.

According to the ruling, India cannot invoke the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) to be exempted from its obligations under the WTO concessionary schedule, nor can it limit its zero duty commitment to products that existed at the time of that commitment. It cannot also exclude new technological products under the same tariff group – they underlined. The inquiry committee also confirmed that no error was committed in determining India’s tariff commitments and, as part of that, in updating the nomenclature of tariff groups.

Accordingly, the investigation committee rejected the investigation of the request submitted by India regarding the correction of its customs commitments, they said. WTO members must discuss these changes, they informed.

The EU commission reminded: Since 2014, India has gradually introduced tariffs of up to 20 percent on products such as mobile phones, mobile phone parts and accessories, landline telephones, base stations, static current converters or electrical wires and cables. The EU considered these tariffs to be in direct violation of WTO rules, as India is required to apply zero duty on such products under its WTO commitments. The EU therefore initiated the WTO dispute settlement case in 2019.

It was also announced: Japan and Taiwan launched parallel procedures in 2019 following the EU’s initiative. These two parallel cases concern the same issue, tariffs on ICT products, and almost the same products. The WTO is expected to decide on the cases initiated by Japan and Taiwan on Tuesday, they informed.

Cover image: Getty Images.