The duty, effective from now for a period of five years, will protect the domestic market where coumarin, which is used in soaps, fragrances and makeup, cannot be produced as cheaply.
The move concludes a consultation period, and will mean a continuation of the anti-dumping duty which had already been in place in India for the previous five year period.
The Indian government notes that it hopes to avoid an influx of the chemical at cheap rates, and maintain fair trade in the country.
Coumarin: the uses
Coumarin is found in thousands of cosmetics and personal care products, according to the ingredients database of market research firm Mintel, and is particularly prevalent in certain perfumes.
“It imparts strength to a perfume, as well as a characteristic note,” beauty brand Lush explains on its website. “It has a very sweet, vanilla-like aroma, which is often described as similar to new-mown hay.
“It is a chemical compound, and occurs naturally in some essential oils and absolutes, such as cinnamon, lavender, tonka, lemongrass, rose, tagetes and tarragon.”
A report from the Danish EPA recently listed coumarin among 11 fragrance ingredients that should require tougher classification, as they act as category 1A skin sensitisers - meaning they have the potential for a greater allergic reaction than category 1 skin sensitisers.
This means, the report suggests, that coumarin should be used in a lower concentration (0.01%) than category 1 ingredients, which can be used in concentrations up to 0.1%.
The other fragrance ingredients named in the report were citral, cinnamaldelryde, cinnamyl alcohol, eugenol, farnesol, geraniol, 7-hydroxtcitronellal, methl oct-2-ynoate, cinnamomum cassia leaf oil, and evernia prunastri extract.