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Withdrawal of GSP benefits by US to India not to affect seafood exports

Published in General Saturday, 16 March 2019 14:15

 

•         Most of seafood exports not covered under GSP regime, says MPEDA Chairman

The US decision to scrap the concessions to India under the Generalised System of Preferences will not adversely impact the country’s seafood export to American market as most of its marine food products, including high-in-demand shrimps, enjoy ‘zero tariff’ under the current GSP regime, says the Marine Products Export Development Authority ( MPEDA).

“There is a widespread apprehension that the US decision will affect the seafood exports from India to America, which is a major importer of our marine products. But such an apprehension is unfounded,” said Mr. K S Srinivas, Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

MPEDA made a detailed analysis and found that there would not be any immediate setbacks anticipated due to withdrawal of GSP benefit in seafood exports, he added.

“The exports of prepared and preserved shrimps and crab to America will not be adversely affected as these enjoy zero tariff at present under the GSP regime,” Mr Srinivas pointed out. 

India usually exports seafood worth USD 2,300 million to American market with frozen shrimp as the flagship item of exports. However, frozen shrimp currently enjoys zero tariff and is not covered under the GSP regime.

“Moreover, the exports of other items such as frozen fish and frozen cephalopods are also not currently benefitted under the GSP.  Hence the withdrawal of GSP will not affect our seafood exports to US,” he noted.

In FY 2017-18, India shipped 13,77,244 MT of seafood that earned US$ 7.08 billion (Rs 45,106.89 crore), with frozen shrimp and frozen fish continuing to be the principal export items. USA, the leading destination for Indian seafood in value terms, imported seafood worth USD 2,320.05 million.

The overall export of shrimp during 2017-18 was 5, 65,980 MT worth USD 4,848.19 million, with USA continuing to be the largest market (2, 25,946 MT) for frozen shrimp and accounting for 53% of total Vannamei shrimp exports. Frozen shrimp was the principal item of exports to USA with a share of 95.03% in dollar value.

The GSP scheme, launched in 1974, aims to assist developing countries in increasing their exports by facilitating duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.  

 

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