Comm ministry wants safety norms on toys to ward off WTO action

Comm ministry wants safety norms on toys to ward off WTO action
PTI
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First Published: Wed, Jun 24 2009. 01 39 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jun 24 2009. 01 39 PM IST
New Delhi: The commerce ministry is pressing for strong safety norms on domestic manufacturers of toys as applied to Chinese imports to ward off any arbitration in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against India.
The commerce ministry has written to the consumer affairs ministry for imposition of safety norms by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), a senior government official said.
“Ideally, the quality and safety norms governing import of an item should also be applicable to the domestic manufacturers,” the official said adding, “or else the exporting country could drag India to the WTO”.
India has imposed strict safety standards for import of toys. The standards which were earlier limited to China have now been extended to all the countries.
A blanket ban which was imposed on import of toys from China in January was eased in March after the Chinese authorities had made a preliminary reference to the WTO.
Under the WTO dispensation, a member-country cannot resort to curbing imports in an arbitrary way. If a country imposes safety standards, they cannot be limited to imports. The domestic manufacturers must also be asked to comply with the same.
The toys market in India is estimated at Rs2,500 crore while the volume-driven, price-competitive Chinese toys are estimated to control 70% of the global toys market.
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First Published: Wed, Jun 24 2009. 01 39 PM IST