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Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai January 13 , 2022
The Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) has sought feedback from member exporters on elimination of duty on a list of pharmaceutical products imported from Australia by January 13, 2022.
 
Pharmexcil will share the feedback with the department of commerce which will take final call on this.
 
The central government is negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with Australia, which in the coming few months will culminate in an interim agreement. In this context, both the countries are exchanging lists of products on which import duties can be eliminated. Australia has indicated to make their import duties zero on 99 per cent tariff lines at the time of entry into force of the agreement. This may translate into increased exports of Indian products to Australia, said Uday Bhaskar, director general, Pharmexcil.
 
India is also finalizing the list of products on which import duties can be eliminated. In this context, the department of commerce had previously shared a list of pharmaceutical related products including ethambutol hydrochloride, salbutamol sulphate, mannitol, ethchlorvynol, thymol, benzyl benzoate, D-glucitol (sorbitol), phenylacetic acid and its salts, iron glycerophosphate,nalidixic acid, amino salicylate, vitamin B1 (thiamine, aneurine) and its salts, vitamin B6 and its derivatives, cortisone, hydrocortisone, prednisone, (dehydrocortisone) and prednisolone (dehydrocortisone), epinephrine, rifampicin, tetracycline/oxytetra- cycline and their salts, streptomycin, ciprofloxacine & its salts, neomycin, erythromycin and its derivatives; salts thereof, papain, pure, of pharmaceutical grade, Sodium salicylate, gentamycin & its salts etc.
 
The list also includes instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental/veterinary purposes including Scintigraphy, Sight-Testing, vetrasonic lithotripsy instruments, orthopaedic or fracture appliances, artificial and dental fittings etc.
 
In addition to the previously listed products, an additional set of products has been finalized including liquid extracts of liver, snake venom, malaria diagnostic test kits, heparin and its salts, ampicillin, ketamine, penicillins, cefazolin, cephalexin, ofloxacin among others.
 
The department of commerce had sought inputs from drug industry on elimination of import duty for these products from Australia, informed Bhaskar.
 
To help the industry in decision-making, the department has included the data on India’s MFN customs duties, duties under imports from India’s FTA partners and imports with Australia and the world, he added.
 
In view of this, specific inputs with respect to tariff elimination on imports from Australia are required from industry. Therefore, exporters are requested for product specific comments in order to examine the specific tariff lines of Australia’s wish list, said Pharmexcil director general.
 
Pharmexcil has requested members to provide feedback on the products (tariff lines) for the products of their business interest by January 13. It is to be noted that the inputs on the tariff lines should indicate specifically (Yes/No) i.e. whether the product can be considered for tariff elimination or not. A short reason for the same would be preferred, which can be provided in the adjoining column.

This will enable Pharmexcil to take up the issues/suggestions effectively with the department of commerce.

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