Special Correspondent

Additional bond has an adverse impact on exports

Thailand and India have appealed against decision

KOCHI: A ruling given by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) a few days back in a dispute pertaining to export of shrimps into the U.S. is expected to help the seafood industry in Kerala. The ruling has upheld the view of the Indian exporters, according to sources in the Seafood Exporters Association here.

The Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO adopted the reports of the panel and appellate body concerned in the cases filed by Thailand and India concerning the U.S. measure known as ‘enhanced continuous bond requirement’ (EBR) on imports of shrimp.

The additional bond has had an adverse impact on the exports of seafood from Kerala. The number of exporters has come down from 280 in 2004 to 69 in 2008, the sources said. The situation will gradually improve in the wake of the new ruling.

Both cases concern the EBR, which had been imposed by the US Customs since 1 February 2005 on imports of frozen warm water shrimp, subject to anti-dumping duties.

As a result of the EBR, exporters of shrimp into the U.S. were required to post cash deposits equal to the margin of dumping, a basic bond amount (required from all exporters of merchandise to the U.S.) and an enhanced continuous bond equivalent to 100 per cent of the anti-dumping or countervailing duty rate, multiplied by the value of imports made by the exporter during the previous 12 months.

Thailand and India had appealed against the U.S. decision. Due to the similarity of the subject matter, both appellate proceedings were consolidated and a single appellate body report was issued last month, according to information posted on the WTO web site.