India has imposed anti-dumping duty of up to $118 per tonne on import of a chemical used for corrosion control and paper bleaching from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and three other countries. The duty has been levied to protect domestic manufacturers of the chemical from “material injury” due to the cheap imports. The revenue department has issued a notification specifying the levy on import of hydrogen peroxide — other than of food and electronic grade with concentration of 90 per cent and above — from Bangladesh, Taiwan, Korea, Pakistan and Thailand.
The duty — in the range of $27.81-117.94 per tonne of the chemical — will remain in place for five years. Earlier, National Peroxide Ltd and Hindustan Organic Chemicals had approached the Directorate General of Anti- Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) for initiation of an anti- dumping probe and imposition of a related duty concerning imports of hydrogen peroxide. On completion of probe, the DGAD makes recommendations to the revenue department on whether to impose the levy or not.
The investigation found that the chemical has been exported to India “below its normal value… (and) the domestic industry has suffered material injury”. Hydrogen peroxide has strong oxidising properties and is therefore a powerful bleaching agent that is used as a disinfectant, an oxidiser, and in rocketry and bipropellant systems. It also finds application in odour and corrosion control, biodegradability improvement, disinfection, paper and pulp bleaching, among others.
There are three grades of hydrogen peroxide — food, technical and electronic. The domestic industry does not have the capability to manufacture food and electronic grades. DGAD, in its final findings, said the domestic industry accepted that it does not produce the chemical having concentration above 90 per cent. Premier space organisation Isro has a very limited — rather insignificant — requirement of the chemical with 90 per cent and above concentration.
Countries initiate anti-dumping probe to determine if the domestic industry has been hurt by a surge in below-cost imports. As a counter-measure, they impose the duty. These duties are in compliance with the rules of global trade body World Trade Organisation. The duties also ensure fair trade by providing a level- playing field to the domestic industry. They are not a measure to restrict imports or cause an unjustified increase in the cost of products.