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India urges EU to reduce NTBs

Owing to the negative impact of non-tariff barriers imposed by the European Union on exports of products like rice, peanuts, chillies and spices, tea, grapes, vegetables and sea food, India has requested EU to reduce them. During the EU’s trade policy review at the World Trade Organization (WTO), India opined that the non-tariff barriers such as maximum residue level (MRL) limits imposed by EU on food products are much higher than the limits set by the standard setting agencies such as CODEX, and trade restrictive.

It also wanted the benefit of duty-free import to all 32 varieties of husked basmati rice as compared to eight as was originally agreed by EU in 2004. New Delhi also refuted fears of the presence of anthraquinone in Indian tea.

Last year in June, India had also reiterated its demand that EU and other developed countries reduce their trade-distorting farm subsidies called the Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS). The other demand raised by India pertained to a simpler tariff regime as the complexity of tariffs acts as a deterrent to trade.

India exported goods worth US$ 40.7 billion to the EU in the nine months to December 2019; while it imported US$ 38.2 billion worth of products from the trading bloc.