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  5. Japan Requests the Establishment of a Panel under the WTO Agreement Regarding India’s Measures Concerning Tariff Increase on ICT Products

Japan Requests the Establishment of a Panel under the WTO Agreement Regarding India’s Measures Concerning Tariff Increase on ICT Products

March 19, 2020

On March 19, 2020, Japan requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a panel under the WTO Agreement regarding India’s imposition of tariff increase on information and communications technology (ICT) products.

1. Outline

From 2014 to 2019, India raised tariffs imposed on ICT products six times, for which the country has committed to zero tariffs under the WTO Agreement. In addition, India included further increases of the tariffs on some of the products in its FY2020 budget plan.

Japan considers these measures imposed by India concerning tariff increase on ICT products to be inconsistent with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), whose provisions stipulate that member countries shall not impose tariffs on goods imported from other countries in excess of the rates in their respective schedules of concession.

Accordingly, on May 10, 2019, Japan requested bilateral consultations with India under the WTO Agreement. However, as these consultations failed to settle the dispute, Japan, on March 19, 2020, requested the WTO to establish a panel under the WTO Agreement on this issue.

2. Future schedule

The WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) will discuss whether a panel should be established. Japan will pursue an appropriate solution on this issue in accordance with the rules under the WTO Agreement.

Reference: Scope of items and its tariff rates subject to Japan’s request for the establishment of a panel

Scope of item (India’s HS code) Tariff rate
[i] Feature phones (HS85171219) Raised from 0% to 20%
[ii] Smartphones (HS85171211) 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 has committed to 0% tariffs for all items above as the WTO bound rate.

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