India extends Canada’s crop fumigation exemption for pulses exports

The Canadian Government issued the following statement on continued access for Canadian pulses to India:

“Since 2004, India has granted Canada a series of exemptions to an import regulation regarding mandatory fumigation for pulses. Another exemption has been granted which will allow continued access to the Indian market for Canadian pulse exporters. Exports leaving Canada on or before September 30, 2017, will not require fumigation in Canada. We will maintain on-going trade while officials on both sides continue to work towards a long-term, systems-based solution.

Pulses are a large part of Canada’s contribution to two-way trade between our two nations: In 2016, pulse exports to India were worth over $1.1 billion and accounted for 27.7 percent of Canada’s global pulse exports. Canada is a safe and reliable global supplier of pulses, with exports of more than $4 billion annually.

The Government of Canada has worked together with industry to secure this exemption with the Government of India, which will benefit Canadians and Canadian farmers. This is a short term remedy and we continue to work on a long-term, commercially viable solution.”

The problem centres around India’s requirement that pulse imports be fumigated with methyl bromide before export, a pesticide which Canada is trying to phase out because of concerns it depletes the ozone layer, and which, additionally, doesn’t work well in the cold.

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