The Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries has called on all exporters to comply with international trade procedures and regulations following the US’ decision to impose countervailing duty on frozen prawns from Malaysia.

Under the duty structure, Asia Aquaculture (M) Sdn Bhn has to pay a tax rate of 10.8 percent while others are charged 54.5 percent.

The ministry also asked these companies to cooperate in every aspect of investigations conducted by foreign authorities.

The ministry said the US’ decision to levy a high tax rate is because the selected Malaysian companies have refused to cooperate in investigations by the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission.

To deal with this issue, the ministry and the International Trade and Industry Ministry have established an action committee since the investigations started to help involved companies.

Together with Malaysia, the US department also imposed duties on shrimp imports from Vietnam (7.9 percent), China (18.2 percent), India (11.1 percent) and Ecuador (13.5 percent).

According to statistics, these five nations exported 208,000 tonnes of frozen shrimp, worth 1.7 billion USD, to the US last year.

The decision to impose the new duties will only take effect when it gets approval from the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and ballots will be cast on September 19.

Following petitions from US shrimp producers and the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries, the DoC investigated shrimp countervailing from the five countries, along with major suppliers Thailand and Indonesia. However, the latter two have not been hit by import duties.-VNA