India adjusts blueberry import tariffs after US agreement
March 1, 2024

In a strategic move to align with an agreement with the United States, India's central government has modified customs duties on several imports, including blueberries and blueberries. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) announced these adjustments on February 20, marking a significant step towards resolving a long-running dispute with the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The CBIC notification highlighted the removal of import duties on fresh (*view comment from the IBO at the end), dried or frozen blueberries, and blueberries will now face a 10% customs duty. Prepared or canned blueberries experience a reduction to 5%, although canned blueberries maintain a 10% tariff.

This policy change is part of India's broader strategy to reduce tariffs on fresh and processed foods, stemming from a bilateral agreement with the United States aimed at resolving disputes at the WTO. This development follows a September 2023 announcement by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai detailing the resolution of the last pending WTO dispute between India and the US, which included the commitment of the India to reduce tariffs on specific US agricultural products.

This agreement, reached during Prime Minister Modi's visit to the United States in June, has been hailed as a milestone in US-India trade relations, resolving six pending disputes at the WTO.

Additional comments from the IBO:

*Note from the IBO: Just to clarify there is only one duty, and for fresh blueberries, it has been reduced from 30% to 10%.

Kasey Cronquist, president of the North American Blueberry Council, added to IBO that “The U.S. has long faced a 30% tariff in India, which has resulted in declining market share for American blueberries against countries that have enjoyed free trade and reduced tariffs with India.  The reduction in tariffs for all forms of U.S. blueberries to 10% will put American producers at a more level playing field with our competitors.”

“The North American Blueberry Council applauds the Biden Administration for their work to strengthen U.S. trade relations with India.  India is a key market for U.S. blueberry producers, and we welcome the opportunity to bring more blueberries to Indian consumers.”