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Govt steps up scrutiny on paper imports

India’s imports of paper and paper products jumped 43% in FY22 from a year before to $8.4 billion.

The local paper industry has been raising issues of dumping of paper products in the domestic market by way of under-invoicing, entry of prohibited goods by fake declaration, re-routing goods through other countries in lieu of trade agreements.

The government has made it compulsory for importers of paper products, including news print, to register their deals, amid growing concerns about illegal dumping from overseas. All such consignments arriving in India after October 1 will be governed by this policy.

It will also enable the government to enhance scrutiny of “re-routing of goods through other countries in lieu of trade agreements”, according to a commerce ministry statement on Thursday. Customs officials have long suspected that Chinese firms may be diverting their supplies of various products to India through Asean nations, abusing rules of origin, to illegally take advantage of duty-free market access under the free trade agreement.

India’s imports of paper and paper products jumped 43% in FY22 from a year before to $8.4 billion. China is the biggest supplier of cheap paper and such products. The directorate general of foreign trade has now tweaked the import policy of major paper products from ‘free’ to ‘free subject to compulsory registration under the Paper Import Monitoring System’.

This order will be applicable to a range of paper products, such as newsprint, handmade paper, wallpaper base, duplicating paper, coated paper, uncoated paper, tissue paper, parchment paper, etc. However, paper products like currency paper, bank bond and cheque paper, security printing paper, etc. have been excluded from this policy change.

The local paper industry has been raising issues of dumping of paper products in the domestic market by way of under-invoicing, entry of prohibited goods by fake declaration, re-routing goods through other countries in lieu of trade agreements.

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