The probe is being carried out by the directorate general of trade remedies (DGTR) on an application filed by Technova Imaging Systems for imposition of anti-dumping duty on imports of 'digital offset printing plates' from the five countries.
If established that alleged dumping has caused material injury to the domestic manufacturer, the DGTR would recommend imposition of anti-dumping duty on the imports.
The final call to impose the duty would be taken by the finance ministry.
In a notification, DGTR said it has "sufficient evidence of dumping" of the plates from certain companies of these five countries.
"The authority hereby initiates an investigation into the alleged dumping, and consequent injury to the domestic industry...to determine the existence, degree and effect of alleged dumping and to recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty, which if levied, would be adequate to remove injury to the domestic industry," it said.
It noted that there was sufficient evidence to show that the normal value of the plates in these countries is higher than the ex-factory export price, indicating that the product is being dumped into the Indian market by exporters of these five nations.
The period of investigation covers July 2018 to March 2019. However, it would also analyse the data of previous three years (2015-18).
The product is used in the printing industry for transferring data as an image (dot patterns or text) onto paper or on tin sheets or poly films.
In international trade parlance, dumping happens when a firm exports an item to other country at a rate lower than the price of that product in its domestic market.
Dumping impacts price of that product in the exporting country, hitting margins and profits of manufacturing firms.
According to global trade norms, a country is allowed to impose tariffs on such dumped products to provide a level-playing field to domestic manufacturers. The duty is imposed only after a thorough investigation by a quasi-judicial body, like DGTR in India.
In its probe, the directorate has to conclude whether the dumped products are impacting domestic industries.
Imposition of anti-dumping duty is permissible under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime.
The duty is aimed at ensuring fair trading practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers vis-a-vis foreign producers and exporters.
India is one of the most attractive markets for global producers due to its large middle class population.