Bangladesh is considering seeking a midterm review of an anti-dumping duty imposed by Brazil 25 years back as jute bag export to the Latin American country has declined to almost zero, officials said.
Presently, the rate of anti-dumping duty on Bangladeshi jute bags is US$ 0.16 per tonne which came down from up to 58.7 per cent back in 1992. The rate was raised as high as 64.5 per cent in 1998.
According to officials, since the imposition of the anti-dumping duty almost no Bangladeshi jute bags were directly exported to Brazil.
However, exporters say though Bangladeshi jute bags are not directly exported to Brazil, a small portion of the item goes there via European market.
Brazil for the last time in November 2016 imposed the anti-dumping duty on import of Bangladeshi jute bags for five more years, hindering the country's export there seriously.
The Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) has recently prepared a report on the state of jute bag export to Brazil as per instructions from the ministry of commerce (MoC).
In 2016, Brazil imported jute bags worth $ 8.542 million from different countries of the world, but not from Bangladesh.
However, Bangladesh is exporting raw jute and jute yarn to Brazil. In the fiscal year 2015-16, some 4,609 tonnes of jute yarn and twine were exported from Bangladesh to the Latin American country.
At present, the anti-dumping duty at the rate of $ 0.15 per tonne is also applicable in case of jute bag import to Brazil from India. Even since slapping the duty, no jute bag was exported to Brazil from India.
A senior MoC official told the FE that if Brazil moves to start consultations again to slap anti-dumping duty further for another five years, Bangladesh will seek midterm review from the authority concerned of Brazil.
If Brazil does not settle it through the review, option is there to raise the issue at the dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organisation, he said.
"We are now exploring both the options as jute bag export to Brazil faces setback," he said.
When contacted over telephone on Tuesday, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters Association (BJGEA) Enamul Haque Patwary said exporters are concerned over anti-dumping duty slapped on Bangladesh's jute bag export to Brazil.
"Due to high duty in Brazil, our jute bag export there is being hindered," he added.
Mr Patwary said the BJGEA in consultation with the government will take measures for withdrawal of the anti-dumping duty imposed by Brazil.
In the fiscal year 2015-16, Bangladesh exported jute and jute goods worth nearly $ 920 million including yarn and twine $ 559 million, raw jute over $ 173 million and sacks and bags over $ 122 million.
Despite repeated attempts over phone, Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose could not be reached for his comments in this regard.