September 24, 2008


US delays removing bond requirement on seafood imports

The US is seeking more time to remove the bond requirement on seafood imports from India and Thailand.


India wants Washington to remove the bond requirements soon as the policy had impacted the country's seafood exports to the US. The decision of whether to allow US more time now lies with WTO.


India and Thailand had filed complaints about the bond policy, imposed since February 2005. WTO ruled that the policy was illegal and a violation of international trade practices, and required the US to remove the policy. However, the US is reluctant to implement WTO's decision in order to protect its domestic shrimp farming industry.


The policy had severely impacted India's seafood exports to the US, with the number of Indian exporters falling to 74 from 258 in 2004. Indian exports to the US were sharply reduced, with the EU, Japan and China emerging as the largest importers of Indian seafood in recent years.


Due to the bond policy and high anti-dumping tariff, the US share in the Indian seafood export basket had dropped to 6.72 percent in 2007-08.


In addition, the EU has announced the visit of an inspection team to audit the processing, production and fish landing centres in India in November.

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