Pulses to India gain fumigation exemption extension

(This story was updated at 10 am CST)

It is official – India has renewed the fumigation waver that will allow Canada-India trade in pulses to proceed.

India extended the fumigation waiver until June 30, 2017.

The June 30 deadline will be based on the bill of lading date, said a news release from Pulse Canada.

The extension resolves for a few months a disagreement that threatened $1.1 billion in annual trade.

Sources in India said the exemption applies to all countries and crops, but Canada, as the biggest pulse exporter, was affected most. The Indian government could not be immediately reached for confirmation, Reuters reported.

Since 2004 India has allowed Canadian exporters an exemption to an import regulation that required  crops to be fumigated with methyl bromide at the point of export. The exemption allowed the exporter to arrange to the fumigation done in India.

The fumigation was required to control stem and bulb nematodes.

Fumigation with methyl bromide does not work well in Canada’s cold climate. Also Canada is phasing out the use of the chemical because it harms the ozone layer in the atmosphere.

The end of the current exemption was March 31, 2017 and would have interfered with shipping the 2016 harvested crop of peas and lentils.

Canadian government ministers of agriculture and trade, Lawrence MacAulay and Fançois-Philippe Champagne, traveled to Delhi earlier in March to meet with Indian officials, discussing the fumigation requirement.

In a statement March 30 the federal officials say they will continue to work with their Indian counterparts to find a longer-term solution to the fumigation issue.

Last year pulse exports to India were worth about $1.1 billion, and took up 28 percent of Canada’s pulse exports.

Lee Moats, chair of the Pulse Canada Board, thanked the federal government and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.

“I was part of Minister MacAulay’s mission to India in early March and know that the minister, High Commissioner and high level staff have made the long-term resolution of Canadian pulse access to India a top priority,” Moats said in the release.

“We will continue to bring the Canadian farmer and Canadian trade perspective to the table and work with the Government of Canada to achieve long-term, predictable access to our largest market.”



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