India flays destruction of rejected export consignments by West

New Delhi, Aug 4 | Updated: Aug 5 2005, 05:30am hrs
Commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath has criticised the destruction of allegedly contaminated or damaged export consignments by developed countries, stating that till the consignment is paid for it is the exporters property and he should decide what he would like to do with the material.

Speaking at a conference on non-tariff barriers organised by CII, the minister pointed out that customs authorities of some countries resort to destroying rejected consignments. Even samples from the consignments are not retained so as to allow the trader to re-conduct the test to verify the claims of customs authorities.

Often the alleged problems could be solved with minor re-processing. Hasty destruction results in huge loss, especially for small exporters, he said.

Mr Nath said that with the steady decrease in tariffs the world over, NTBs have become the chief instrument of regulating trade. Developed countries use sophisticated methods while less developed countries have more straightforward NTBs but the common objective of all these is to limit imports.

While the minister stated that all NTBs were not irrational or had an ulterior motive, it became problematic when these measures placed unreasonable demands on traders or when they drive up costs of products with the specific aim to make them uncompetitive in the importing markets.

Mr Nath said that standards should be fair and transparent and India should also keep in mind the two aspects while setting its own standards.