Agri Business

India pushes EU to revoke ban on four veggies

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018


Points out that norms same for mangoes, which are allowed

India is pushing the European Union (EU) to revoke an import ban on four vegetables: brinjal, snake gourd, taro and bitter gourd. The ban was imposed last year after fruit flies were found in some consignments from India. The ban continues to be in force even though import of mangoes, which had been prohibited along with the four vegetables, was resumed earlier this year.

“There is no reason why the ban on the vegetables should continue when the EU inspectors were satisfied with our improved packaging and inspection norms for farm products and removed the restriction on mangoes,” a Commerce Ministry official told BusinessLine.

Parleys on

The Commerce Ministry has taken the issue up “strongly” at the relevant working groups and sub-committees of the India-EU strategic partnership forum. The Indian Embassy in Brussels is also engaged in dialogues with various EU officials over the issue.

“The Indian Embassy in Brussels is pitching in proactively to help protect our farmers’ interests. In fact, two posts have been created for agriculture experts to advise on matters related to farm goods exports and imports,” the official said. Although the total value of the exports of the four vegetables to the EU is just about ₹9 crore a year ($1.5 million), officials said the fight was more to protest the arbitrary ban on agriculture products.

Retaliatory measure?

The European Union, too, has been trying to persuade New Delhi to remove curbs on some of its farm items, such as pork and ham.

“Although the two bans are not directly connected, often countries retaliate against restrictions by its trading partner by imposing a ban on some on their products as well,” the official added.

The working group on sanitary and phyto-sanitary and technical barriers to trade (SPS & TBT) at the India-EU strategic partnership forum discusses the grievances of both sides on issues related to quality restrictions and other technical barriers.

The EU had imposed a ban on the import of mangoes and the four vegetables last May for a period of 20 months. India subsequently made it mandatory for exports of all perishable items to the EU be routed through pack-houses certified by the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.

Published on February 20, 2015

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