As part of ELP’s knowledge dissemination initiatives, we are pleased to share with you our update on developments in international trade and customs law area during the period October 2019 to January 2020. The period October 2019 to January 2020 witnessed some key developments globally and also domestically. Notably, the WTO Appellate Body membership has finally been reduced to one member with two of the last three members retiring on December 11, 2019. This puts the WTO’s dispute settlement process into suspension with no sight on revival of the Appellate Body in the near future. On the domestic front, India, in a major decision, withdrew from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) after years of negotiation. The question remains as to what reforms India needs to undertake in the short to mid-term to address the concerns over which India withdrew from the RCEP. Finally, the Government of India recently presented the Union Budget for the financial year 2020-21 and the Finance Bill has proposed to, inter alia, tighten rules on assessing claims of preferential duty. What these rules mean for importers/users who have been hitherto claiming preferential duty on imports from India’s trading partners and exporters from those partner countries? We try to address these issues, amongst others, in the attached update.