Indian seafood exporters are eagerly awaiting a ruling by a World Trade Organisation panel on a plea against additional customs bonds imposed on Indian shrimp imports into the US, officials said in Kochi on Wednesday.
Exporters from six countries - India, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Ecuador and Brazil - have to execute customs bonds over and above the anti-dumping/countervailing duty to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the US for their shrimp export operations.
India's commerce ministry had appealed against this additional bond at the WTO. And the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) is hoping that the outcome of the ongoing hearing, which is likely to be announced next week, will go in their favour.
"We have strongly contested the customs bond because we have to pay anti-dumping duties to the tune of 10.17 percent and also execute a bond of the same value. This is an anti-tariff barrier," Abraham Tharakan, president of SEAI, told IANS.
A positive development was seen in December 2006 when the US Court of International Trade gave a preliminary ruling that the additional bond imposed on shrimp imports was contrary to the law.