Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Apr 08, 2004
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Standards & Benchmarks
Plant Quarantine Order lays stress on phyto-sanitary certificate
Chennai , April 7
THE Plant Quarantine Order, which also covers wood packaging materials used in international trade, has caught importers, exporters and customs house agents on the wrong foot. The order, which was to be implemented on April 1, has been postponed to June.
Besides consignments of plants and plant products, the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Control into India) Order 2003 states that "no article packed with packaging material shall be released by the Proper Officer of Customs unless the consignment is accompanied by a phyto-sanitary (plant hygiene) certificate in respect of the said packaging material."
The order further states that if no phyto-sanitary certificate is furnished for the packaging material, the Customs Officer can clear the material only after obtaining permission from the local Plant Quarantine authorities, who will grant clearance from the quarantine angle and may, if deemed fit, subject the packaging material to treatment at the expense of the importer.
This, however, does not apply to packaging material for passenger baggage containing goods other than plant and plant products. As of now, India is the only country that makes the phyto-sanitary certificate mandatory.
This has a significant impact on the trade in India, as most of the light engineering exports are carried in wooden pallets and crates, according to sources. The order covers both hardwood and softwood.
The order follows an international agreement with countries of the European Union, the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. India is also a signatory to this agreement.
The objective of the participating governments is to develop a uniform standard to control pests in wood packaging material used in global trade.
Under the new international standard (ISPM 15), all wood packaging materials must be heat-treated or fumigated with methyl bromide.
This includes pallets, dunnage, crating, packing blocks, drums, cases, load boards, pallet collars and skids.
Once treated the materials must display a specific mark developed by the International Standards Committee, which has been trademarked for this purpose.
The US will begin enforcing the new standards for imports in June this year.
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |
Copyright © 2004, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line