New registration norm threatens to stop export of organic textile products

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on December 16, 2014 Published on December 16, 2014

Industry seeks more time as December 18 deadline looms

Export of apparels made from organic cotton may come to a halt if the Government does not extend the December 18 deadline for mandatory registration of these products with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

The Director General of Foreign Trade, through a public notice, had made it mandatory for any product exported as an organic to be certified under the National Program for Organic Production.

Currently, export of organic raw cotton is covered under the mandatory registration with NPOP. With the recent development, all finished organic textile products such as yarn, fabrics and garments will be covered under the registration process. However, exporters are no where near getting their products registered.

RK Dalmia, Chairman, Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council, said the process of registration with APEDA and attempts to convince importers to accept the certification issued by the government body will require at least one more year.

Moreover, APEDA is yet to appoint accrediting agency to issue certificate for exporters.

At present, importers insist on Global Organic Textile Standard certification for organic textile shipped from India. The transaction cost for exports will go up substantially with the process to get two separate certificates, said Dalmia.

India is the largest producer and exporter of organic textile products followed by Turkey.

“Export realisation from organic textile products is about 10-15 per cent more compared to the convention textile exports,” said Dalmia. The industry expects organic textile exports to account for about 8-10 per cent of total textile exports this year.

Export target

The government has set textile export target of $45 billion this fiscal against $39 billion achieved last year. Textile exports touched $16.7 billion in first half of this fiscal. The Government recently removed the mandatory registration of cotton and yarn export with Directorate General of Foreign Trade make exports more competitive and reduce transaction costs.

Manikam Ramaswami, Chairman, Loyal Textile Mills, said while the intention of the government to reward the organic cotton growing farmers is welcome, it has to ensure that the industry is given enough time to adapt the new policy and necessary infrastructure is established to certify organic cotton.

He said there is a mismatch in the amount of organic cotton grown in the country and the quantity of organic textile that is being exported. Once the certification process is streamlined, both the farmers and textile industry will benefit in the long run, he said.

Published on December 16, 2014

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