India blocks Sri Lankan exports of spices using non-tariff barriers: SAPPTA

Sep 26, 2019 (LBO) – India has imposed an unrealistic Minimum Import Price (MIP) on Sri Lanka pepper and arecanuts resulting in negligible exports, the Spices & Allied Products Producers’ & Traders’ Association (SAPPTA) said.

Sri Lanka exported around 75 percent of pepper exports and almost 100 percent of its arecanut exports to India. The MIP on pepper is INR 500 whereas the local market is INR 200 (LKR 500).

"In the case of arecanuts, Indian importers are also finding it difficult to clear the cargo at the port of entry," Management Committee of the SAPPTA said in a statement.

SAPPTA further says that recently the Indian Government Authority has instructed their Phytosanitary Department not to issue certificates for the export of clove stems, an absolute requirement for the clearing of cargo in India.

In the meantime, stocks of these commodities remain unsold with farmers who continue to agitate with prices declining.

"What is the use of Free Trade Agreements, if such restrictions prevent exports," SAPPTA asked.

When a MEP was introduced for a short time for some spices in the seventies, it failed and caused major disruption to the export of spices and was wihdrawn.

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