Chinese Taipei seeks to join WTO consultations over India’s ICT products tariff

New Delhi, May 20 (PTI): Chinese Taipei Monday expressed interest in joining consultations in a case filed by Japan in the WTO’s dispute settlement body against India’s import duties on certain ICT products, including mobile phones.
According to a communication of the WTO, Chinese Taipei said that the separate customs territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu has a substantial trade interest in information communications technology (ICT) goods.
On May 14, Japan has dragged India to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over the import duties imposed on certain electronic goods including telephones for cellular networks; machines for reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data; and parts of telephone sets.
They have alleged that imposition of import duties on these products by India infringes WTO norms as India has committed zero per cent bound tariffs on these products.
While bound tariffs or duties refer to the ceiling over which a WTO member country can not impose import duty, the applied tariff is the duty which is currently in place.
The communication said: “The separate customs territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu hereby notifies the consulting members and the dispute settlement body of its desire to be joined in these consultations”.
As per WTO rules, seeking consultation is the first step of dispute settlement process.
If the bilateral consultations requested by the EU with India do not result in a satisfactory solution, the EU can request the WTO to set up a dispute panel to pass a ruling on the matter.
Chinese Taipei requires approval from India and Japan to join the consultation process.
A WTO member country can file a dispute if it perceive that another country’s trade policies or actions are violating global trade norms.