Agri Business

EU ban on Indian mango may go if new packaging norms pass muster

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2017

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Quality experts from the 27-member bloc to inspect packaging facilities here in Sept

The European Union will lift its ban on Indian mangoes and vegetables earlier than scheduled if its quality inspectors are satisfied with the new stringent packaging norms for perishables put in place by the country.

“A team of experts from the EU’s Plant and Health Department will be in India in September to inspect our packaging facilities and mandatory inspection norms. Once they are satisfied that we are exporting high quality products packaged in sanitised conditions, the EU is expected to lift the existing ban on exports,” a Commerce Ministry official told Business Line.

The 27-member bloc had imposed a ban on import of mangoes, bitter gourd, taro, egg plant and snake gourd from India in May this year, after insects were detected in some consignments.

The ban was imposed for 20 months till December 2015.

India, however, is of the view that the ban is not justified as the country has already put in place a stringent packaging and inspection norms that will ensure that all consignments are free of any contamination.

It is now mandatory for exports of all perishable items to the EU to be routed through pack-houses certified by the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority under the vigilance of plant protection inspectors.

While the ban has affected just about 5 per cent of India’s total exports of perishables to the EU estimated at €400 million, officials say that such instances hurt the image of the country.

Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher had earlier said that India was not considering dragging the EU to the World Trade Organisation over the ban, but hoped that the issue would be settled soon through mutual talks.

“India’s Ambassador to Brussels has been in constant talks with EU officials to convince them to inspect the country’s improved facilities and lift the ban,” the official said.

Published on July 30, 2014

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