The commerce ministry has recommended imposition of anti-dumping duty on digital printing plates from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam with a view to guard domestic manufacturers from cheap imports from these countries.
The ministry's investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended the duty after concluding in its probe that there is a substantial increase in imports of digital offset printing plates from these countries in absolute terms.
It has also concluded that the plates have been exported to India from these countries below their normal value, which has resulted in dumping and consequently impacting the domestic industry.
The duty recommended was in the range of $0.77 per sqm to USD 0.13 per sqm. The finance ministry takes the final decision to impose these duties.
"The authority is of the view that imposition of anti-dumping duty is required to offset dumping and injury. Therefore, authority recommends imposition of definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of subject goods from the subject countries," DGTR has said in a notification.
The alleged dumping probe was carried out by the DGTR on an application filed by Technova Imaging Systems for imposition of the duty on imports of these plates coming from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.
The imports of these plates have increased to 16.32 million sqm during the period of investigation covers (July 2018 to March 2019) from 8 million sqm in 2015-16.
The product is used in the printing industry for transferring data as an image (dot patterns or text) onto paper or on tin sheets or poly films.
In international trade parlance, dumping happens when a firm exports an item to other country at a rate lower than the price of that product in its domestic market.
Dumping impacts price of that product in the exporting country, hitting margins and profits of manufacturing firms.
According to global trade norms, a country is allowed to impose tariffs on such dumped products to provide a level-playing field to domestic manufacturers. The duty is imposed only after a thorough investigation by a quasi-judicial body, like DGTR in India.
In its probe, the directorate has to conclude whether the dumped products are impacting domestic industries. Imposition of anti-dumping duty is permissible under the World Trade Organization (WTO) regime.
The duty is aimed at ensuring fair trading practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers vis-a-vis foreign producers and exporters.
India is one of the most attractive markets for global producers due to its large middle-class population. China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam are key trading partners of India.