Agri Business

India wants EU to relax sampling norms for fish exports, reduce clearance time

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on March 29, 2019 Published on March 29, 2019

The EU is the third largest market for India’s seafood exports   -  THE HINDU

India has asked the European Union (EU) to make its market friendlier for Indian exporters of fisheries by reducing the sampling frequency of exports to 10 per cent from 50 per cent, allowing the de-listed establishments that have improved their practices to be listed again and reducing the clearance time for marine exports at the Customs.

Fearing that there were inadequate measures in some aquaculture farms to ensure that the quality regulations of the EU were being adhered to, the bloc had raised the sampling frequency for Indian exports from 10 per cent to 50 per cent.

“The increased frequency of testing added to the costs of exporters and affected their competitiveness,” an official pointed out.

Two audit processes

Since 2016, the EU has carried out two audits of the processes followed in the country and India has given all the necessary clarification on the audit findings. “The Commerce Ministry has now asked the EU to consider lowering the sampling frequency to 10 per cent as in the past,” the official said.

The EU is the third largest market for India’s seafood exports. India’s exports of seafood to the EU in 2017-18 were valued at $1.11 billion with shrimps being the major export item. Its total export of fisheries during the year was at $7.1 billion.

Senior officials from the Commerce Ministry discussed problems faced by Indian exporters, including the fisheries sector, at a meeting with their counterparts in Brussels some time ago.

Trade concerns and opportunities were also discussed with the EU and Oceania countries, including Australia and New Zealand, in an interaction with Ambassadors and High Commissioners this week.

India also wants the 15 establishments delisted by the Export Inspection Council, as per the recommendation of the European Commission as their consignments were found to be non-compliant, to be listed again. “Now that these establishments have taken steps to rectify non-compliance and EIC has recommended listing of the EIC, the EC should allow it,” the official said.

Long clearance time

Another issue being faced by fisheries exporters is a relatively long clearance time at Customs which has gone up to 15-30 days as compared to 7 days earlier, according to the Commerce Ministry.

India has asked the EU to restart electronic clearance and reduce the clearance time as it attracts huge demurrage cost for exporters and consignments get delayed.

Published on March 29, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor