Japan complains to WTO against India over Custom Duties on phones

Japan raised a complaint at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against India’s custom duties on mobile phones, routers and base stations, and circuit boards.

According to Japan, India pursued domestic production by amending various taxes including customs duties, especially since it introduced the “Make in India” campaign in September 2014.

“Some of the tariffs on goods of substantial interest to Japan were now “clearly in excess” of the rates allowed by the WTO,” Japan said to WTO.

India’s WTO membership terms stated that the import tariff on all the disputed goods was 0%. However, India applied a 20% tariff on mobile phones and base stations and 10%, 15%, and 20% on other components.

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As per the trade data provided by the International Trade Centre, Japan received a small portion of India’s phone imports, valued at $53 million in 2011 and $43 million in 2012, but less than $2 million in all other years.

The data also showed that India imports its mobile phones from China even though its appetite for foreign phones has shrunk from $7.1 billion in 2014 to below $1.5 billion in 2018.

WTO stated that India has 60 days to settle this dispute, after which Japan can request for an adjudication panel to determine whether India broke the tariff rules.

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