India likely to extend anti-dumping duty on melamine from China

India’s commerce ministry’s arm DGTR has recommended the extension of anti-dumping duty for five years on imports of Melamine, used in beauty and utility products, from China to protect the domestic industry from cheap inbound shipments. The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended the duty after conducting a sunset review investigation on the imports.

It concluded that the imports from China in relation to total imports, demand and production continued to be significant, despite the anti-dumping duty being in existence. DGTR also said that there is a likelihood of continuation and recurrence of dumping from China and consequent injury to the domestic industry in the event of cessation of the current duty.

“Accordingly, definitive anti-dumping duty…is recommended to be imposed for five years from the date of the notification to be issued by the Central Government, on all imports of subject goods…originating in or exported from the subject country,” DGTR has said in a notification. It has suggested a duty of $ 161 per tonne on imports.

For the first time in 2004, the duty was imposed to guard the domestic industry against cheap Chinese Melamine. It was extended in 2010 and then in 2016. The existing duty will exist till September 30 this year.

While DGTR, which is under the commerce ministry, recommends the duty and the finance ministry takes the final decision to impose the same within three months of the recommendation.

Countries initiate anti-dumping probes to check if their domestic industries have been hurt because of a surge in below-cost imports. As a countermeasure, they impose duties within the multilateral regime of the WTO. Anti-dumping measures are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level playing field to the domestic industry. It is not a measure to restrict imports or cause an unjustified increase in the cost of products.

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