Now, EC Raises Eyebrows On Exim Policy Riders

New Delhi, January 27: | Updated: Jan 28 2003, 05:30am hrs
Serving yet another blow to India, the European Communities (EC) has sent a communication to the dispute settlement body (DSB) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) questioning some of the restrictions maintained by India under the export-import (Exim) policy 2002-07. The United States, too, has backed the EC and has expressed willingness to join the consultations the EC has sought with India on the issue.

In its communication submitted to the permanent mission of India and the chairman of the DSB, the permanent delegation of the European Communities pointed out that restrictions on a number of products of interest to it might constitute an infringement of WTO provisions.

The EC, which is also entangled in a bed-linen dispute with India, requested clarification and the justification for the import restrictions on products of specific interest.

The list of products targeted includes glazed and other newsprint, feature films of a width 35mm or more of length not exceeding 4,000 meters, gold, radio and TV broadcast transmitter, dish antenna for communication jamming equipment, aeroplane and other aircraft of an unladen weight not exceeding 2000 kg, fireworks, ships signals, safety and other matches, combustible preparations and antiques of an age exceeding 100 years.

Restricted organic products identified by the EC include horses, live swine, fowls & turkeys, edible fruit or nut trees, potatoes, garlic, celery seed, fenugreek seed, poppy straw, psyllium husk & seed and vinca rosea herbs

The US, in a communication to the DSB, expressed interest in joining the consultations with India.

It said that the products identified by the EU were also relevant to the US and it too wanted the restrictions removed.

The EC pointed out that the restrictions under the Exim policy might infringe WTO provisions in the areas of Article III, X and XI of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff (Gatt) 1994, Article 4.2 of the Agreement on Agriculture, Article 1, 2 & 3 of the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures, Article 2, 3, 5, 7 & 8 of the Agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary measures and Article 2 of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

The EC has requested India for a mutually convenient date for the consultations.