India lifts import ban on six commodities from Vietnam

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New Delhi | Updated: March 22, 2017 5:51:37 PM

India has lifted the import ban on six commodities, including coffee beans, from Vietnam after resolving phytosanitary issues with the latter.

India also temporarily suspended the imports of coffee beans, bamboo, black pepper, cinnamon, cassia and dragon fruit from Vietnam with effect from March 7, citing interception of quarantine pest in cargoes. (Reuters)

India has lifted the import ban on six commodities, including coffee beans, from Vietnam after resolving phytosanitary issues with the latter. Vietnam had yesterday removed suspension on imports of five commodities from India after it was satisfied with the corrective action to improve pest management. Earlier this month, Vietnam had suspended import of pods and seeds of peanuts, seeds of cassia, cocoa, bean and fruit of tamarind from India due to phytosanitary issues. In response, India also temporarily suspended the imports of coffee beans, bamboo, black pepper, cinnamon, cassia and dragon fruit from Vietnam with effect from March 7, citing interception of quarantine pest in cargoes.
“Phytosanitary issues have been addressed and we lifted temporary ban on import of six commodities from Vietnam,” a senior agriculture ministry official told PTI.

The decision was taken yesterday after the Vietnam government lifted restrictions on shipment of Indian items, the official added. According to sources, the Embassy of India in Hanoi had termed the decision of the Vietnam government suspending the import of five items based on two instances of non-compliances limited to peanuts as “strange”. India had received only two notifications of non-compliance from Vietnam — one on January 20 and other on February 16, 2017. The Embassy had also contended that leading Vietnamese groundnut importers were happy with Indian consignments except the case of non-compliance of February 2017, they added. While imposing temporary ban on Vietnamese products, the Indian government had said the interception of quarantine pests in imported consignments was a serious violation of phytosanitary regulation of the country, causing serious bio-security risk, sources said.

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The notifications for repeated interception of quarantine pests were communicated to the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO), Vietnam, they added. In a letter dated March 3, the Indian government had informed the NPPO, Vietnam, its concern and suspension of six commodities. It had also requested Vietnam to submit an action taken report and phytosanitary measures to be proposed to avoid interception of quarantine pests. India had asked Vietnam to provide the list of fumigating agencies for accreditation by its NPPO to ensure proper fumigation of the exported cargo is carried out. The country had raised the issue of export of some commodities by Vietnam that are not permitted and without phytosanitary certificates. In the letter, India informed that continuation of such violation might warrant considering withdrawal of market access.

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