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The United States Friday said that it continues to monitor implementation and raise concerns with India on restriction of imports of certain information and communications technology products, including laptops, tablets, and servers.

In its National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers 2024, the US Trade Representative (USTR) said: “Since 2021, US firms have been subject to an increasing number of takedown requests for content and user accounts related to issues that appear politically motivated”.

As per the report, India’s customs system is complex and open to administrative discretion. It also cited a lack of clarity on definitions related to brand owners, date markings, non-retail containers, and multi-unit pack on alcoholic beverages.

On IT imports, the US said its exporters have raised concerns over the lack of prior stakeholder consultations.

In August last year, India restricted the imports of certain ICT products and said they will be allowed only with a valid import license for each product.

As per the report, American stakeholders have reported that obtaining an import license for remanufactured goods is onerous. “Stakeholders noted excessive details are required in the license application, quantity limitations are set for specific parts, and long delays occur between the submission of an application and the grant of a license,” it said. For certain chemical products subject to quality control orders, the USTR said its industry has asked the India to issue clear guidelines and instructions to its customs authority for both the QCO exemptions and QCO implementation so that imports are not unnecessarily delayed.

“India lacks an overarching government procurement policy and, as a result, its government procurement practices and procedures vary among different ministries within the central government,” it said.

The US also highlighted barriers to digital trade such as data storage requirement which hampers the ability of service suppliers to detect fraud and ensure the security of their global networks.

A lack of transparency continues to affect new and proposed laws and regulations, according to the US, along with a lack of uniform notice and comment procedures and inconsistent notification of these measures to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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