Sri Lanka asked to curb refuse tea exports to Iraq: commerce ministry

May 19, 2013 (LBO) – A delegation of Iraqi officials have called for tighter controls on exports of Sri Lankan tea to stop refuse tea from entering their country and also complained about production processes at factories, the trade ministry said.

“We want the bulk tea shipments to Iraq from Sri Lanka well packaged, and wrapped with stamping. We suggest you to seal a 3D hologram to all tea packs above 10 Kgs.

“Secondly we want a product certification from the Tea Board. Thirdly, we don’t want tea going to Iraq to go in open bags or packaging but want them to go in sealed containers.”

“We want you to waterproof-seal the tea containers at the port itself. Each container could be inspected by Iraqi representatives right here in Colombo port prior to sealing.

“Also we want Sri Lanka government labs to test the teas before they are packed and rather than private sector lab tests. In fact, it would be better that not only Ceylon Tea but even other Lankan products heading to Iraq to be tested in a government lab prior to dispatch.

“The government lab report then could be sent to Bureau Veritas, the testing agency enlisted by Iraq.”

It is not clear how more stringent regulations, or government testing, imposed on legitim