The government’s decision to mandate compulsory registration for paper imports  under `Paper Import Monitoring System’ from October 1 is not just to address dumping concerns of the domestic industry but also to know the profile of paper coming into the country in the ‘others’ category tariff lines.

“We want to know the profile of paper that is coming into our country in the `others category’. Is it because someone is trying to avoid a HS code where duty could be high or is it just for the sake of convenience,” an official tracking the matter told BusinessLine.

“The idea is to have an import system where those who are importing will file what kind of products they are getting so that it could also be judged whether our manufacturers have the capability to produce that kind of paper or not,” he added.

On May 25, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade issued a notification amending the import policy of paper from ‘free’ to ‘free subject to compulsory registration under Paper Import Monitoring System to be implemented from October 1, 2022.

The amendment covers 201 tariff lines including items such as newsprint, handmade paper, wallpaper base, duplicating paper, coated paper, uncoated paper, litho and offset paper, tissue paper, parchment paper, carbon paper, wall paper, envelops, toilet paper, cartons, account books, labels and bobbins.

However, many paper items covered under monitoring system are also under the ‘others’ category which does not specify what the item exactly is, and the government is keen to shed more light on such products.

“By identifying the items under the ‘others category’, the government also wants to see if Indian manufacturers could produce these items in line with the `Make in India’ drive,” the official added.

Domestic paper industry has been complaining about paper products being dumped by way of under-invoicing, entry of prohibited goods by mis-declaration and re-routing of goods through third countries to take advantage of India’s trade agreements with certain trading partners

“The government hopes that the problems of alleged dumping and re-routing can also be checked through the monitoring system as it tracks all transaction details including what item is coming in at what value,” the official said.