1. Commodity News

US’s Apple Exports Affected Due to FSSAI’s Non GMO Certificate Requirement

Sugandh Bhatnagar
Sugandh Bhatnagar
Fresh Apples Ready for Export

The US has reported that its apple exports to India have been adversely affected due to New Delhi’s decision to mandate ‘Non Genetically Modified Origin’ and ‘GM free’ Certificates for certain agricultural imports and has proposed to withdraw the measure

In a submission to Sanitary and Phytosanitary committee of World Trade Organization, India was urged to withdraw the measure, which required that every consignment of 24 identified food products need to be accompanied by a non- GM- origin-cum-GM-free certificate issued by competent National Authority of the exporting country. This mandate was brought into action by FSSAI in August last year. 

US Arguments

US supported its argument by saying that trade stoppages risk future product shortages and could lead to price increase for Indian consumers and further disruptions to Indian supply chains.  

US also said that India must provide the scientific justification and the risk assessment for the measure or otherwise indicate relevant International standards or guidelines on which this measure is based. It has suggested India to consider alternative approaches that can be implemented in a non-discriminatory manner. 

FSSAI’s Order

The order was expected to be effective from 1st January 2021, but was postponed to March 1. The food items requiring the certification include pineapples, apples, wheat, rice, tomato, potato, maize, melon, plum, papaya, egg-plant, bean among others. 

After the imposition of the non GMO certification requirement from March 1, 2021, apple exporters from the US have reportedly complained that the Indian market is technically closed for them as at present, the US department of agriculture does not issue such certificates. 

US Apple Export to India: Present scenario 

Apple exports from the US to India had already taken a hit after the imposition of additional import duties of 20% in 2019, as retaliation for US action against Indian steel and aluminum.  That increased total import duties to over 70 % and led to shard decrease in the apple exports from the US to India over the last couple of years and will continue to drop this year due to GM free mandatory certification. 

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