News Desk: India is planning to raise quality standards of imports, impose quantity restrictions, mandate stringent disclosure norms and initiate more frequent checks at ports of entry for goods coming from many Asian countries, the officials said, declining to be named as they were not authorized to talk to the media.
The officials said the moves will mainly target imports of base metals, electronic components for laptops and mobile phones, furniture, leather goods, toys, rubber, textiles, air conditioners, and televisions.
India’s trade ministry issued a notice to restrict inbound shipments of TVs by requiring importers to get a special license.
India is worried about heavy trade flows from South Korea. The moves are expected to primarily hurt Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore – members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with which India has a free trade agreement (FTA).
An official said, “Now we want to raise quality standards and also make sure that goods in free trade agreement (FTA) routes have roots in those countries. So customs would be more vigilant than before.” India’s trade ministry did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
“The government will also discuss raising the value-addition requirement for products imported from those countries from the current level of 20%-40%”, the official said.
India has long had an uneasy relationship with China and a Himalayan border dispute escalated into the worst clash in decades in June.
China is also India’s second-biggest trading partner, with trade worth $87 billion in the fiscal year ending March 2019, and a trade deficit of $53.57 billion in China’s favour.
Thai and Malaysian authorities said they had not received any official communication on the issues of raising non-tariff barriers or re-routing of goods.
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