India’s Commerce and Industry Ministry is considering stricter scrutiny of goods coming from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and the Asia bloc. The move aims to stop banned Chinese imports coming through these countries.

New Delhi had earlier imposed 100 percent physical checks of shipments from China. The new regulations on Chinese imports follow a deadly border clash last month between soldiers from both countries along a disputed border in the Himalayas in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

The Commerce and Industry Ministry has reportedly pushed for fast tracking amendments to the customs law to tighten the rules to claim concessional benefits under India’s free trade pacts. It has also requested that the Finance Ministry introduce stringent provisions related to rules of origin, to empower customs officers for checking the abuse of free trade agreements (FTAs).

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The government had inserted a new chapter in the Customs Act on the administration of rules of origin under trade agreements, giving it the power to suspend and refuse preferential tariff treatment in case of incomplete information or verification and non-compliance, respectively. Under the new rules, an importer cannot avail of concessional benefits by merely providing a certificate of origin. (RT)