The World Trade Organization (WTO) will likely oppose the budget imposing higher tariffs on parts of cellphones, as some countries will likely see it as a violation of the information technology agreement.
“India’s import duties on cell phones and some communications equipment have already been challenged at the WTO by members such as the EU, Japan and Taiwan. Additional import duties on cell phone parts can be challenged by the same members. The issue needs to be analyzed within government and arguments prepared to justify the duties, ”an official said. Activity area.
In the budget presented on Feb. 1, import duties on printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), a key component of multifunction phones and smartphones, were increased to 20 percent from 10 percent. The tariff on cell phone buzzers / ringtones and billboards, which was zero, was set at 10 percent.
The Information Technology Agreement (ATI), signed by a number of WTO members, including India in 1996, requires each participant to eliminate and bind zero tariffs on all products. specified in the Accord, including mobile phones and spare parts.
The EU, which is in consultation with India on tariffs it has previously imposed on mobile phones and spare parts and other communications equipment, has alleged the tariffs exceed those to which India has committed at the WTO. These items included telephone sets, including telephones for cellular networks or other wireless networks, transmission devices for radio or television broadcasting, television cameras, digital cameras and camcorders and microphones, speakers, headphones and headphones, among others.
Japan had complained to the WTO about India’s rights to cell phones, base stations and routers, as well as printed circuit boards and other components that make them up.
Taiwan, in its complaint, alleged that India had imposed these duties on 11 categories of ICT products in excess of its bound tariff rates for goods.
India defends its decision
In its defense, India had said that the import duties on the items did not infringe the ITA since the items, in their current form, were not covered by the pact.
“The new tariffs on cell phone parts and related products could push India even further on the defensive at the WTO. While at present the WTO Appellate Body is dysfunctional, New Delhi has yet to clarify its position forcefully in order not to appear irresponsible, ”the official said.