Anti-dumping duty on Chinese fragrance chemical

The Finance Ministry has imposed anti-dumping duty on Chinese import of a chemical used in preparation of fragrance compounds, with a view to protect domestic industry from the cheap shipments.

The restrictive duty of USD 14.02 per kilogram on import of Coumarin --  used in manufacture of soaps, cosmetics, incense sticks, and fine fragrances -- from the neighbouring country has been imposed for a period of five years (from March 2010), the Revenue Department said.

The Directorate General of Anti-Dumping (DGAD) in the Commerce Ministry had recommended imposition of the duty after its probe found the product was being dumped into India by Chinese producers.

The DGAD had found that "the product under consideration had been exported to India from the subject country (China) below normal values ... (and) the domestic industry had suffered material injury on account of imports...".

The probe into the dumping was carried on a complaint by Nasik-based Atlas Fine Chemicals, the sole domestic producer of Coumarin. There were two more producers but they had closed commercial production of the chemical.

Countries initiate anti-dumping probes to check if the domestic industry has been hurt because of a surge in cheap imports. As a counter-measure, they impose duties under the multilateral WTO regime.

The measures are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level playing field to domestic players. It is not a measure to restrict imports or cause an unjustified increase in the cost of products.

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