INDIA ‒ IMPORT RESTRICTION ON AIR CONDITIONERS
QUESTION FROM JAPAN
The following communication, dated and received on 24 September 2021, is being circulated at the request of the delegation of Japan.
India introduced the import prohibition on air conditioners with refrigerants (ITC HS Code: 84151010 and 84151090) by the Notification No. 41/2015‑2020 of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, as of 15 October 2020. Japan is highly concerned that this measure unfairly pressured companies to reconstruct their supply chains, and is inconsistent with Article XI:1 of the GATT 1994 and Article 2.1 of the TRIMS Agreement.
India has repeatedly described that the measure is consistent with the obligation of India under the Montreal Protocol. However, this import prohibition measure does not distinguish the types of refrigerants, and prohibits any air conditioners with any refrigerants, including the ones with refrigerants that are not subject to India's obligation to phase out under the Montreal Protocol or under India's domestic regulations. Japan respectfully requests India to answer more specifically on reasons why India considers that the measure can be justified despite such excessiveness.
In particular, with regard to HCFC, Japan understands that India does not yet need to totally phase‑out its production and consumption for the moment even under the relevant domestic regulation (i.e., the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2014). Moreover, with regard to HFC, India's obligation under the Montreal Protocol does not cover HFC, and Japan understands that there are no particular laws and regulations in India that regulate production and consumption of HFC. Against this background, Japan appreciates that India could describe the rationale for prohibiting the charge of any refrigerants into air conditioners only for imports. Japan also appreciates it if India could identify specific laws and regulations in India that regulate production and consumption of HFC, if any.