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EU pushes for further restrictions on Indian Basmati imports
Asia Pulse, June 15, 2004
The European Union has demanded mandatory certification from Indian authorities for every imported Basmati consignment as belonging to specific strains of traditional varieties so as to be eligible for customs duty concessions.

The world's largest trading bloc also wants the samples of imported Basmati drawn from Indian consignments to be tested here, free of cost.

"From April 15 we are certifying cargoes as traditional Basmati, for them to be able to avail the benefit of 250 euros a tonne duty concession. The EU now also wants the the specific variety of basmati be identified in the carton itself", Chairman, Agricutltural and Food Products Export Development Aurhority Chairman K S Money told PTI.

He said customers was more interested in traditional basmati and to identify one of the six varieties to which a cargo belonged was not required.

Furthermore, even after the consignment has the stamp of approval of the Export Inspection Council (EIC), the EU wants to send its samples for testing back to India.

Money said this is going to be a costly affair but the EU does not want to accept the expenses. Traders, however, fear that if India concedes to the demand, the EU could flood the testing authorities using one pretext or the other to reject the samples.

The other view is that since EU is in the process of renegotiating the rice import regime, agreeing temporarily to their new set of demands would not make much difference.
MGR Archive 15.6.2004
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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