India may impose anti-dumping duty on imports of Polystyrene, used in refrigerators and air conditioners, from Iran, Malaysia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, UAE and the US with a view to guard domestic players from cheap imports from these countries. Ineos Styrolution India Ltd and Supreme Petrochem Ltd had filed the application for imposition of the anti-dumping duty on imports of polystyrene from these nations.
After conducting a probe, the commerce ministry’s investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended imposition of the anti-dumping duty on the product from these six countries. The duty recommended is in the range of USD 35 per tonne to USD 474 per tonne.
The directorate in a notification said that in its probe, it has established that dumping is happening and it was impacting the domestic industry. “The authority is of the view that imposition of definitive anti dumping duty is required to offset dumping and injury. The authority, therefore, considers it necessary and recommends imposition of anti-dumping duty on the imports,” it said.
Imports of the product from these countries have increased to 30037 tonne during the period of investigations (January-December 2018) from 16915 tonne in 2015-16. While DGTR recommends the duty, the finance ministry will take the final call to impose the same.
In international trade parlance, dumping happens when a country or a firm exports an item at a price lower than the price of that product in its domestic market. Dumping impacts the price of that product in the importing 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, such as DGTR, in India. The 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. Polystyrene can be moulded into various shapes, and can be extruded to make sheets and can be foamed. The major applications include appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners, stationery, household articles, extruded insulation foam, electrical housings, toys and food packaging.