Anti-dumping duty in Gulf could hit tiles export from Morbi

RAJKOT: Exports from Morbi’s famed ceramic industry could be potentially hit by the (GCC) decision to impose 15% anti-dumping duty on Indian tiles.

GCC is a political and economic union of all Arab states except Iraq and its member countries include , Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The council is the process of finalizing the duty by January 5, sources in the ceramic industry and Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said.

It is learnt that the Saudi Ceramic Company and other Saudi and Gulf companies submitted a complain to a GCC committee alleging harmful practices in international trade. The complaint is under investigation. Generally, when the importer country feels that the product is heavily subsidized in the country of origin or it’s rate is lower than domestic market of country of origin, it initiates the process of imposing anti-dumping duty.

India provides incentives to tiles exporters under the two schemes – Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) under it’s foreign trade policy. The companies in Gulf countries consider these schemes to be heavily subsidizing the exports.

According to DGFT sources, the export from Morbi ceramic cluster, which is India’s biggest, was Rs 8,000 crore in financial year 2017-18. This was expected to grow to Rs 10,000 crore at the end of current financial year. Nearly 30% to 40% ceramic products are exported to Gulf countries.

Mukesh Ughareja, president of Morbi Ceramic Association’s vitrified tiles division said, “We are representing at all levels to prove that we are not violating any rules that damage the interest of local tiles manufacturers in Gulf countries. The local companies had complained GCC of unfair trade practice by Indian, Chinese and companies. We have learnt that GCC may impose duty on a temporary basis from January 5, 2019 for six months.”

The association has already represented to Director General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), which works under the union commerce ministry, to make a case for them in GCC.

Morbi units export their products in 150 countries including Spain, , , Brazil and Turkey. The cluster produces wall tiles, floor tiles, vitrified tiles, polished tiles, twin charged tiles, sanitary wares, industrial ceramics and technical ceramics products.

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