Fumigation Rules May Disrupt Pulse Trade to India

January 17, 2017

Indian plant quarantine officials are requiring fumigation with methyl bromide for pulse imports, including dry beans. Fumigation is to occur at the port of loading and the shipment must include a certificate as part of required import documentation. While this rule has existed on the books, it has not been enforced during times when India had a crop shortfall and needed imports. Methyl bromide has been a banned pesticide in the U.S. for many years but the U.S. and Canada have enjoyed an exemption which allowed for the Indian importer to undertake fumigation at the port of discharge. This exemption will no longer be allowed effective early 2017.

Indian quarantine officials have offered that exporting countries who ban methyl bromide can request a special exemption, but this is not a long term solution. So far Indian quarantine has not enforced this new rule but there is some talk among the trade that the request for an exemption is being used as bargaining tool to extract concessions for Indian goods facing similar barriers in target markets. This doesn’t seem logical as India still needs to import substantial quantities of pulses to meet growing consumption. Trade policy is complicated, USDBC’s India representative will continue to represent industry interests in this dialogue.

Posted in: Bean Bulletin, News