India begins second anti-dumping probe on paper imports

The Directorate General of Anti-Dumping & Allied Duties (DGAD), under the ministry of commerce and industry has opened at least two anti-dumping investigations concerning import of paper originating in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, China, European Union and the US.

12 Feb 2018 | By Dibyajyoti Sarma

Following the investigations, if these countries are found to be dumping paper on Indian shores, they will be levied an anti-dumping duty.

Dumping is a process where a company exports a product at a price lower than the price it normally charges on its own home market. To protect local businesses and markets, countries impose stiff duties on products they believe are being dumped in their national market.

Speaking about anti-dumping duty in late 2017, Rohit Pandit, secretary-general of IPMA said, “The conventional markets for Chinese and Indonesian exporters are the US and the EU. In both these markets, anti-dumping or anti-subsidy tariffs have been imposed on import of paper and paperboard to protect their domestic industries.”

The first anti-dumping duty investigation concerns imports of ‘uncoated copier paper’ originating in or exported from Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore (Case No. 6/32/2017-DGAD dated 2 November 2017) 

According to the gazette notification, Indian paper manufacturers including JK Paper, The West Coast Paper Mills, Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers, and Ballarpur Industries filed an application along with relevant information before the authority in accordance with the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 and Customs Tariff (Identification, Assessment and Collection of Anti-Dumping Duty on Dumped articles and for Determination of injury) Rules, 1995 for initiation of anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of ‘uncoated paper’ originating in or exported from Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

Furthermore, the notification stated that the DGAD found sufficient prima facie evidence of dumping and ‘injury’ to the domestic industry and initiated an investigation into the alleged dumping.

It said the applicants have claimed that there is no known difference in the product produced by the applicants and exported from the subject countries. The two are technically and commercially substitutable and hence should be treated as ‘like article’ under the rules. 

Beside the applicants are five other known producers of the product under consideration in the country, namely, Seshasayee Paper and Boards, Trident Group, International Paper APPM, Orient Paper & Industries, and Century Pulp and Paper.

The second anti-dumping duty investigation concerns import of ‘coated paper’ originating in or exported from China PR, European Union & USA. (Case No OI- 45/2017 dated 23 January 2018).

The Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) on behalf of BILT Graphics Paper Products filed an application before DGAD for initiation of anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of ‘coated paper’ originating in or exported from China, European Union and the USA, Indonesia and Korea.

The product under consideration is paper or paper board coated with kaolin (china clay) or calcium carbonate or polymer or other inorganic substance, with or without a binder; and with no other coating, either on one or both sides; whether or not surface-coloured, surface-decorated or printed, in rolls or rectangular (including square) sheets, of any sizes; whether or not dull, gloss, matte or high-gloss(cast coated) finish; made generally, but not invariably or exclusively from virgin chemical pulp, properly classifiable under Chapter 4810.

The product is primarily used for printing of magazines, catalogues, books and manuals, calendars, brochures, labels, flexible packaging, etc. The gsm for coated paper ranges from 40 to 350gsm. Besides the applicants, JK Paper also produces such papers.

According to the notification, the applicant has submitted that efforts were made to get information/evidence of transaction price of subject goods in the domestic market of subject countries but was not able to get such information. The applicant has therefore constructed the normal value for all subject countries on the basis of best estimates of the cost of production in the country origin, duly adjusted for selling, general and administrative costs and reasonable profits. For the purpose of initiation, the normal value so constructed is being adopted.

The period of investigation for the present investigation is from April 2016 to June 2017.