Seafood exporters are optimistic about the removal of anti-dumping duty by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on shrimps exported to United States, the largest market for Indian marine products.
The anti-dumping duty has been in force on Indian frozen warmwater shrimps since 2004-2005. The levy was for five years. In the fifth year, a 'sunset review' was initiated by DOC (department of commerce) of the US government.
As per reports, the DOC will conduct the sunset review to determine whether duties can be withdrawn or should be continued for another five years.The DOC had extended the levy on Indian shrimps for another five years after the completion of first five-year term of the anti-dumping duty.
"US did not repeal the duty on Indian frozen water shrimps in the first five years which was further extended by another five years. India, along with China and Vietnam, moved the World Trade Organisation for repeal of the duty," said an official in the know.
The rate of duty is fixed by the US government's department of commerce.
Hopeful of a positive outcome, Tara Patnaik, chairman of Falcon Marine Exports Ltd, said the Government of India as a party has moved the WTO for the sunset review so that there will be no duty on Indian shrimps.
"We are optimistic about the outcome and the hearing has been completed," he added.
The US is a major importer of Indian seafood with a share of 28.46 per cent in dollar terms. The total exports to the US stood at $1,334.05 million in 2015-16. US-bound shipments had registered a growth of 18.53 per cent in terms of quantity but in value they were down 2.23 per cent in rupee terms and 8.52 per cent in dollar terms.
The US is the largest market for frozen shrimp, at 1,34,144 tonnes, followed by the European Union (81,849 tonnes), South East Asia (65,188 tonnes), Japan (34,204 tonnes), Middle East (17,477 tonnes), China (9,542 tonnes) and other countries (31,464 tonnes).
This year, the US commerce department has announced its preliminary determination in the 11th administrative reviews of the anti-dumping duty orders against frozen warm water shrimp from India and Thailand. It has pegged its preliminary anti-dumping duty on the perishable item at an average rate of 1.07 per cent. The period of review (POR) was February 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016.
It may be noted that India has emerged over the last few years as the largest supplier of shrimps to the US, overtaking Thailand and other countries, and commands premium prices for excellent quality of aquaculture shrimp.