India to Ask for 15 Months to Implement WTO Poultry Ruling

INDIA - India will ask for 15 months time to implement the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling against its ban on poultry products from the US.
calendar icon 23 June 2015
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This is the maximum time allowed under the WTO for implementation of a dispute ruling, but can be allowed only with the permission of the country that won the case, reported The Hindu.

“We allowed the US 15 months to implement the WTO verdict against countervailing duties imposed by it against Indian steel. We expect it to be equally generous towards us,” a Commerce Ministry official said.

India needs as much time as possible for implementing the decision because the move is expected to result in a flood of cheap chicken legs from the US, which could cause problems for the domestic poultry industry.

Official discussions between India and the US on the implementation of the ruling will take place in Geneva soon.

Earlier this year, the WTO’s appellate body, which is the top decision making authority of the organisation, had ruled in favour of an earlier WTO panel’s decision, which concluded that India’s ban on poultry products from the US due to fears of avian influenza were not based on relevant international standards or a scientific risk assessment. India’s animal husbandry department has to now come up with a notification withdrawing the ban.

Poultry organisations have been asked by the government to examine other science-based reasons, including the genetically modified feed given to chicken in the US and the effects long-term poultry storage in the deep freezer, to see if other restrictions could be imposed.

India’s over 400,000 (four lakh) poultry farmers, producing about 3.5 million tonnes of chicken every year, could lose up to 40 per cent of their market once the US products start flowing in, according to some industry estimates.

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