The government may impose a provisional safeguard duty of 25 per cent on imports of single-mode optical fibre used for signal transmission. The move is based on an investigation by Ministry of Commerce citing a sudden and significant surge in the imports of the fibre.

Safeguard duty is a trade remedy available to World Trade Organisation member-countries and imposed to provide a level-playing field to domestic players when there is sudden and significant increase in imports of a product.

The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), the ministry’s investigation arm had initiated the probe in September, 2019 after registering a complaint from the domestic industry. The application for the DGTR investigation was made by Sterlite Tech and Birla Furukawa Fibre Optics.

According to DGTR, the product is being imported in increased quantities and may cause a serious damage to the domestic industry. Therefore, the DGTR has proposed a provisional safeguard duty of 25 per cent, to be imposed on the imports of single mode optical fibre from all countries.

However, the final decision to impose the duty will be taken by the finance ministry. Further, certain developing countries may be exempted from it.