Pulse sector seeks clarity on fees as India plans six-month extension


India’s government has give notice of another six-month exemption regarding its fumigation requirements for agricultural commodities shipped to the country, but it looks like shipments to Canada’s largest pulse market could face another trade obstacle — much higher inspection fees — upon arrival at Indian ports.

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) says “additional clarity is required” regarding new fees announced this week in conjunction with the extension until December 31, 2017.

Since 2004, India has granted derogations or exemptions that allow Canadian pulse crops to be fumigated upon arrival, rather than in Canadian ports where temperatures are too low most of the year for the required fumigant — methyl bromide — to work.

After signaling it wants to move away from these derogations, India’s government has issued last-minute three to six month extensions in the fall of 2016, March 2017 and June 2017.

“SPG remains confident that this issue will be resolved, and that market access for Canadian pulses to India will continue,” the organization said in an update to members on Friday.

Pulse Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canadian Grain Commission have proposed alternatives to the blanket fumigation-at-origin requirement that they say would address India’s concerns. The CFIA has also conducted a study that showed Canadian pulse exports pose no risk to India’s plant health concerns and that fumigation is not required.

“Plant health officials expect that the new extension will provide sufficient time for the Government of India to complete its review of the dossier of information provided by the Government of Canada, resulting in a solution past December 31, 2017 that does not restrict trade for pulse crops,” says SPG.

India is the destination for around a third of Canada’s pulse exports. In 2016, Canada exported 1.9 million tonnes of pulse crops worth more than $1.1 billion to India.

For more on the India pulse fumigation issue:

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