The government said on Tuesday that the removal of additional duty on walnuts and apples imported from the US will not have any adverse impact on domestic producers, as sufficient safeguards, including customs duty, remain in place.
After resolving trade disputes with the US, the government eliminated the 20% additional duty on apples and walnuts, which had been in effect since 2019. These charges were in addition to the existing customs duty of 50% for apples and 100% for walnuts, as confirmed by the commerce department.
“Customs duty has not been reduced. Only the additional duty has been done away with,” commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal told reporters.
The minister explained that back in May, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) had officially established a Minimum Import Price of INR 50 per kilogram for imported apples, excluding those originating from Bhutan. This measure was put in place to prevent the influx of apples priced below the stipulated rate, thereby curbing the entry of inexpensive imports. Additionally, Goyal emphasized that strict adherence to sanitary and phytosanitary standards, which define regulations for food safety and plant health, would be enforced to ensure that only apples meeting the specified criteria would be allowed into India.
Considering that Washington apples, the primary variety imported from the US, are typically positioned in the premium price range, the elimination of additional duties will promote increased competition in the upscale market segment. This move is expected to benefit consumers by providing them with more favorable options and deals.