India seeks review on dumping duty on shrimp

Kochi, March 27 | Updated: Mar 28 2005, 05:58am hrs
India along with Thailand has filed an appeal before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking a changed circumstance review on the anti-dumping duty imposed by the US on Indian shrimp. The joint appeal was filed on Friday in the backdrop of the tsunami disaster.

The ITC would take a decision on the matter on April 26. In case, it felt that tsunami had destroyed marine production in the two countries, it would hear the affected countries.

However, if it decided otherwise, the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) which has filed the present appeal, would have to move the authorities again.

According to SEAI national president, the appeal filed had given a detailed situation of the havoc tsunami had caused to the marine sector. The association had collected data from the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, besides additional material furnished by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (Mpeda) and the Central Marine Fisheries and Research Institute (CMFRI).

This was submitted to the Centre which had assessed the situation. This was because ITC was expected to consider only government data for deciding review of the duty.

The central department of ocean development had earlier constituted a five-member expert committee to study the impact of tsunami on the ocean eco system, including the changes that had taken place to the ocean floor and the impact on the flora and fauna, including shrimp and other fishery resources.

The ITC, in its report in January, had ruled that though the import of shrimp from six countries, including India, had caused injury to the local fishing industry, it could consider a CCR in the wake of the natural disaster that swept India and Thailand.

The tidal waves of December 26 were estimated to have led to a loss of over Rs 2,000 crore in India. The Food and Agriculture Organisation had also estimated that there would be a 30% decline in marine exports from the country. The US department of commerce had imposed an anti-dumping duty of 9.5% on Indian shrimp from over 16% imposed during the preliminary determination. However, this was raised to 10.17% later.

Firm representative Kenneth Pierce had earlier held discussions with exporters and officials of Mpeda. He had said that that there had to be a mutually-supported effort by the two countries to get the US authorities review the anti-dumping duty decision.

This would set a precedent for exporters of other commodities too. There was also the need to provide authentic information that showed changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review of such determination and should demonstrate a good cause.

On April 26, ITC would decide whether to initiate the review. Once initiated, a final decision would come in 120 days.