International Trade Law

International Trade has been liberalized under General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and other agreements under WTO regime. GATT was a multilateral agreement regulating international trade. According to its preamble, its purpose was the "substantial reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers and the elimination of preferences, on a reciprocal and mutually advantageous basis." It was negotiated during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization (ITO). World Trade Organization (WTO) was established on January 1, 1995. There is a further liberalization of cross boundary trade at regional levels by entering into various regional Preferential Trade Agreements. With liberalized cross border trade a number of domestic industries are complaining damage on account of excessive imports. The WTO agreements as an exceptional measure permit imposition of Anti Dumping duty, Safeguards Duty and Countervailing Duty as the case may be for the protection of domestic industry besides fixing Minimum Import Price. These exceptional taxes are meant for different situations which are mutually exclusive. The safeguards duty is imposed purely for the protection of domestic industry on a no fault principle. We have successfully handled a number of cases in the above arena for imposition of duty as well as opposing the imposition of duty.

Anti Dumping

The concept of anti-dumping find its roots in the trade practices of 1930s when many countries resorted to dumping of goods into foreign countries at extremely low prices for earning foreign exchange. Manipulative currency practices such as devaluation of currency, was very popular in such countries for cost reduction of goods manufactured and traded globally by domestic industries. Anti-dumping legislation arose at the end of the nineteenth century as a policy alternative to frequent revision of import tariffs and was used by different countries to protect their domestic industries from the ill effects of dumping.

ANTI-DUMPING

Procedure Advise and guidance on procedural issues concerning imposition of anti-dumping duty on any product.

Technical - Advise and guidance on technical issues concerning imposition of anti-dumping duty on any product.

Assistance - Providing assistance for collection of data for justification of imposition of anti-dumping duty on any product.

Application - Preparation of application and filing with the appropriate authority in Ministry of Commerce.

Laisoning - Follow up of application for imposing provisional and final anti-dumping duty, investigation, preliminary findings, review, final findings etc.

Litigation - Preparing and filing of replies to Show Cause Notices, appeals before Commissioner (Appeals), CESTAT, High Court, Supreme Court, attending personal hearings and appearance before Courts.

Liaison - Interacting with the concerned department on behalf of the client for trouble shooting and ensuring smooth functioning of the affairs of the client.

Safeguard Duty

When imports of a particular product increase unexpectedly due to concession which may cause serious injury to domestic producers of like or directly competitive products, a safeguard which is a form of temporary relief is used. Safeguards give domestic producers a period of grace to become more competitive vis-à-vis imports.

The Central Government after conducting an enquiry is satisfied that any article is imported into the country in such increased quantities and under such conditions so as to cause or threatening to cause serious injury to domestic industry, then it may by notification impose a safeguard duty on that article.

Any safeguard duty unless specifically made applicable shall not apply to articles imported by a 100%EOU or FTZ or SEZ.

The safeguard duty shall be in addition to any other duty imposed. This duty shall, unless revoked earlier, cease to have effect on the expiry of four years from the date of such imposition. If the Central Government is of the opinion that the safeguard duty should continue, it may extend the period of such imposition. But in no case the safeguard duty shall continue to be imposed beyond a period of ten years from the date on which such duty was first imposed.

Advance Rulling

Advance Ruling enable foreign investors to know in advance into certainty their Customs duty liability on them proposed imports into India and proposed exports from India.

The scheme of Advance Rulings allows a non-resident investor setting up a joint venture in India in collaboration with a non-resident or a resident; or a resident setting up a joint venture in India in collaboration with a non-resident; or a wholly owned subsidiary Indian company, of which the holding company is a foreign company; or a joint venture in India; or a resident falling within any such class or category of persons as notified by the Government of India in this behalf , to seek in advance, a ruling from the Authority for Advance Rulings. Advance Rulings are not appealable by the department or the applicant, under the Central Excise, Customs or Service tax law.

The scheme of Advance Rulings allows the following categories of applicants to seek an advance ruling :

1) Any person who is a non-resident setting up a joint venture in India in collaboration with a non-resident or a resident;

2) Any person who is a resident setting up a joint venture in India in collaboration with a non-resident;

3) A wholly owned subsidiary Indian company of which the holding company is a foreign company;

4) A joint venture in India, that is to say a contractual arrangement whereby two or more persons undertake an economic activity which is subject to joint control and one or more of the participants or partners or equity holders is non-resident having substantial interest in such arrangement;

5) A resident falling within any such class or category of persons as the Central Government may by notification in the official gazette specify in this behalf. The Central Government has specified the following categories of persons as being eligible to seek advance rulings:-
(a) Any Public Sector Company;
(b) Residents proposing to import goods under the project import facility (heading 9801 of the Customs Tariff) for seeking rulings under the Customs Act,1962;
(c) Residents proposing to import goods from Singapore under the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement for seeking rulings on origin of goods under the Customs Act, 1962;
(d) Resident Public Limited Company.
(e) Resident Private Limited Company.
(f) Resident firm.

Countervaling Duty

Countervailing Duties that are imposed in order to counter the negative impact of import subsidies to protect domestic producers are called countervailing duties.

Countervailing duty (CVD) is equal to central excise duty and is levied on imported articles produced in India. With CVD, the process of production amounts to 'manufacture' as it is defined in the Central Excise Act, 1944. CVD is based on the aggregate value of goods including landing charges and BCD

 
     
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