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India Changes Import Policy for Carbon Black

On September 9, 2009, India’s Department of Commerce issued a notification (DGFT Notification No 08/2009-2014, Import Policy of Carobn black and Other, polyesters) that it had amended the import classification for carbon black, putting it on an open general license, or free policy. In other words, imports of carbon black are no longer restricted.

Upon first hearing of this decision, it seemed to me to be in conflict with the Department of Commerce’s decision at the end of July to impose anti-dumping duties on carbon black imported from Australia, China, Russia, and Thailand. However, a source at an Indian carbon black supplier explained to me that the two announcements are part of the same policy.

Prior to the imposition of anti-dumping duties, imports of carbon black were restricted. In order to implement the anti-dumping duties, however, the status of carbon black had to be changed to ‘free,’ as the duties cannot be imposed on a restricted product. As such, imports from Australia, China, Russia, and Thailand will be permitted but subject to the anti-dumping duties, which range from US$ 0.078 per kg to US$ 0.195 per kg based on the country of origin and the specific exporter. The duties will be in place through January 29, 2010.

This policy makes the anti-dumping duties something of a mixed blessing for India’s carbon black industry. On the one hand, imports from the four targeted countries will be subject to the duties. On the other hand, imports from any other country will no longer be restricted and will not be subject to the duties.

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