India Market Conditions Remain Complicated

April 20, 2018
India is one of the most compelling and interesting market opportunities for the U.S. dry bean industry, but also one of the most difficult due to historically complicated market access constraints. An attractive market with huge potential for U.S. dry bean consumption, we continue to work closely with our on the ground representative to craft long term strategies to gain a foothold in this market. India is coming off of a year of very high production levels for most of its staple crops and this in turn has triggered a series of import controls and price supports for various commodities. While other pulses are included in these import deterring measures, dry beans are not. Chickpeas continue to face import tariffs as high as 66%, a major deterrent to trade. While dry beans do not face punitive tariffs on top of already existing import tariffs, there are other challenges to market entry.  These include:
  1. Ongoing requirement for fumigation with methyl bromide in country of origin. These has been waived on a temporary basis by the Government of India, but need a permanent solution.
  2. Requirement for each shipment of dry beans and chickpeas to be accompanied by an Additional Declaration attached to the phytosanitary certificate stating the shipment is free of weed seeds and soil contamination. Potential penalty fee assessed.
  3. Burdensome requirements from the Food Safety and Standards Agency of India (FSSAI) for moisture content, foreign material, and damaged seeds. This creates an additional risk that any shipment could be rejected despite meeting all phytosanitary requirements.
USDBC will continue to study export opportunities in this market while addressing the numerous trade barriers.
Posted in: Bean Bulletin