Taiwan drags India to WTO over import duties on ICT products

India had hiked duties on ICT goods imports in 2018, largely affecting Taiwan

The World Trade Organization logo at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva | Reuters The World Trade Organization logo at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva | Reuters

Taiwan has dragged India into WTO's dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on certain ICT products, including mobile phones, alleging breach of global trade norms.

The country claims that India has imposed these duties on 11 categories of ICT products in excess of India's bound duty rates for the goods.

According to a WTO statement, Taiwan has requested dispute consultations with India regarding duties imposed by India on imports of certain information and communications technology (ICT) goods.

The request was circulated to WTO members on Monday.

In October last year, India hiked import duty on certain communication items, including base stations, to up to 20 per cent as part of efforts to check a widening current account deficit by curbing imports.

Taiwan has claimed that these measures "appear to be inconsistent with India's obligations" and "through those measures, India accords less favourable treatment to the commerce of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu of certain information and communication technology goods".

It said they are looking "forward to receiving India's reply to this request and to agreeing to a mutually acceptable date and place for consultations".

The European Union has also filed a similar complaint against India in the WTO.

The request for consultations formally initiates a dispute in the WTO. Consultations give the parties an opportunity to discuss the matter and to find a satisfactory solution without proceeding further with litigation.

After 60 days, if consultations fail to resolve the dispute, the complainant may request adjudication by a panel.