Following the alignments in trade, it is now mandatory to issue a certificate of inspection from the Export Inspection Council (EIC) or Export Inspection Agency (EIA). The directorate general of Foreign Trade has issued an official notification on 4th of November 2019.
Maximum Permissible Residue Level
The EU has specified MRL (Maximum permissible residue level) values of fungicides and pesticides for a year. European Union (EU) cut maximum residue limit for Tricyclazole from 0.10 PPM to 0.01 PPM on 31st December 2017. As a result, Saudi Arabia rejected a few shipments of Indian rice. Additionally, new requirements that demand DNA testing of basmati with up to 93% purity were brought into force. Thus, it drastically affected the fate of 70,000-90,000 tonnes of rice exported per month.
The events that led to the issue of official policies
Providing a temporary relief, the shipments of rice may carry on without disruption till December 31st 2019 without any requirement of COC and additional authentication certifications. Further, Indian rice exporters must provide an affidavit undertaking for shipments sent after 1st of September 2019. Further exporters need to submit COC for the same shipments before 31st of December 2019.
However, this change created severe confusion pertaining to export of basmati rice and non-basmati rice to many countries. Since then authorities have convinced farmers to lower pesticides use.
Issue of official notification
The stringent rules for export of rice to Saudi Arabia comprised of compulsory test reports on Minimum Residue Levels (MRL), DNA test proving authenticity, certificate of conformity (COC) and registration of unit under Food Safety Management System (FSMS).
An official statement notified the requirement of ‘Certificate of inspection’ from EIC or EIA for export of Basmati and non-basmati rice to EU. The official statement received by Government of India on 4th November 2019 at New Delhi.