Last Updated on July 17, 2021 by The Health Master
In a bid to enhance market access for Indian pharmaceuticals, the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) has asked its member companies to furnish details of market access issues and non-tariff measures (NTMs) being faced them while exporting to countries like United States of America, European Union, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, China and Russia.
NTMs are measures other than normal tariffs namely trade related procedures, regulations, standards, licensing systems and even trade defense measures such as anti-dumping duties etc. which have the effect of restricting trade between nations.
With the lowering of tariffs across the globe, NTMs have come into prominence with members using these measures to erect entry barriers for goods and services.
There are reports stating that countries such as Japan, Australia, US, EU, China, Russia, Latin American countries—Brazil, Mexico use non-tariff barriers to impede trade.
An internal analysis of the Indian commerce ministry ahead of the country’s pull-out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal in November, 2020 showed China had put in place 1,516 notifications that are nothing but technical barriers to trade, followed by Japan (917).
The member companies have been asked to furnish the information pertaining to NTMs to Pharmexcil.
The NTMs are being actively taken up by the department of commerce during bilateral and multilateral negotiations aiming at enhanced market access for Indian pharmaceuticals, said Uday Bhaskar, director general, Pharmexcil.
“In pursuance to this, we have appealed to the member companies to share inputs on non-tariff issues being faced by them in eight regions– US, EU, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, China and Russia. The non-tariff issues include regulatory requirement (sanitary & phytosanitary), technical barriers to trade, restrictions on after sales services and distribution, government procurement, local content requirement, difficulty in obtaining required certificate or license to sell product in other country and any other trade barrier (inside the border),” said Bhaskar.
India’s pharmaceutical exports grew 18.7 per cent to US$ 24.44 billion in the financial year ended March 31, 2021. Exports to the US and Mexico recorded a growth of 12.6 per cent and 21.4 per cent respectively. Growth in exports to Europe, the third-largest market, was about 11 per cent while export to unexplored markets such as Australia was 21 per cent.
Once NTMs are addressed, India’s pharmaceutical export will witness a new height. It will help drug firms, especially MSMEs, boost export, said a drug exporter.