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  5. Japan Requests Consultations with the Government of India under the WTO Agreement Regarding India’s Measures Concerning Tariff Increase on ICT Products

Japan Requests Consultations with the Government of India under the WTO Agreement Regarding India’s Measures Concerning Tariff Increase on ICT Products

May 10, 2019

Joint Press Release with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On May 10, 2019, Japan requested consultations with the government of India under the WTO Agreement regarding India’s imposition of tariff increase on information and communications technology (ICT) products since 2014.

1. Outline

As an effort for promoting its Make in India policy, India has raised tariffs on various products, including ICT products, nine times since 2014. In particular, tariffs on ICT products have been raised six times in total.

On some ICT products, India imposed tariffs in excess of its WTO binding commitment. Accordingly, Japan considers India’s measure concerning tariff increase on ICT products to be inconsistent with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Through bilateral talks and also at the relevant WTO committees, Japan has repeatedly requested India to withdraw the measures, but the two sides have been unable to settle the dispute. In response, Japan requested consultations with India under the WTO Agreement.

2. Future schedule

Japan will coordinate specific schedules of consultations with India.

Reference 1: Scope of items and its tariff rates subject to Japan’s consultation request

Scope of item (India’s HS code) Tariff rate
[i] Feature phones (HS85171210) Raised from 0% to 20%
[ii] Smartphones (HS85171290) Raised from 0% to 20%
[iii] Base stations for cellular mobile phones (HS85176100) Raised from 0% to 20%
[iv] Digital microwave communication equipment (HS85176290) Raised from 0% to 20%
[v] Printed-circuit board assemblies (HS85177010) Raised from 0% to 10%
[vi] LCD modules for smartphones, etc. (HS85177090) Raised from 0% to 15%

Note: India commits 0% tariff for all items above as WTO bound rate.

Reference 2: Consultation under the WTO Agreement

The WTO Agreement requires Members to hold consultations before requesting the establishment of a panel (the first trial) to examine whether the measures at issue are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement. The WTO Agreement encourages Members to settle disputes through mutual agreement (Article 4 of Annex 2 of the WTO Agreement: Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes).

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