India Market Access for Canadian Pulses

During the week of June 26, 2017 the Indian Government provided notice of a six-month extension of the relaxation of fumigation regulations for the import of agriculture commodities that require fumigation with methyl bromide until December 30, 2017. Methyl bromide fumigation in Canada will not be required for Canadian pulses shipped to India through the fall, which is a key marketing period for Saskatchewan producers. However, additional clarity is required from India on higher inspection fees that may apply to Canadian pulse exports to India leaving Canada after June 30, 2017.

Update*: Canada received notification that Canadian pulse exports to India will be exempt from additional inspection fees until September 30, 2017. Pulse Canada is advocating for the exemption to continue until December 30, 2017 while the Government of Canada and Government of India continue to work together to find a long-term solution. 

Since 2004, India has granted derogations that allow shipments of Canadian pulses to be fumigated upon arrival in India instead of in Canada prior to export. One of the reasons the Indian Government has allowed this derogation is that the temperatures in Canada are too low for most of the year for fumigation to be effective.

In the fall of 2016, the Indian Government began to send signals that they were not going to renew Canada’s derogation when it expired in March 2017. In response to these signals Pulse Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the Canadian Grain Commission, and other partners developed proposed alternatives to India’s blanket fumigation requirements that would still address India’s plant health concerns, while removing market restrictions for Canadian pulses. In March of 2017, the Indian Government granted a three-month extension of the derogation (until June 30), while it reviewed the proposed alternatives presented by the Canadian industry.

The CFIA also conducted a science-based risk assessment of India’s pest concerns that showed that Canadian pulse exports to India pose no risk to India’s plant health concerns. This suggests that no fumigation is needed, either in India or Canada, on pulse exports originating in Canada. Plant health officials expect that the new extension will provide sufficient time for the Government of India to complete its review of the dossier of information provided by the Government of Canada, resulting in a solution past December 30, 2017 that does not restrict trade for pulse crops.

As negotiations with the Indian Government continue through this extension, Pulse Canada continues to work closely with, and support, the Government of Canada in reaching a permanent solution for Canadian pulses in India. India is one of Canada’s most important export markets, with over 1.9 million tonnes of Canadian pulses exported to India last year. SPG remains confident that this issue will be resolved, and that market access for Canadian pulses to India will continue. 

Previous Updates on India Market Access

February 24, 2017

March 30, 2017

May 8, 2017


Market Access

Pulse Canada continues to work with and support the Government of Canada in reaching a long-term resolution in this key Canadian pulse export market. SPG is confident that market access for Canadian pulses to India will continue.

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers invests in market access for a number of reasons. Over the years Saskatchewan has seen some great advancement in pulse crop production. As larger crops come off the field, more of the crop is being exported than ever before. 

Over 80% of our production is exported to international markets, which means that growers need to have access to appropriate markets to ensure the industry’s competitiveness going forward.

Since 1997, SPG has partnered with grower groups from other provinces and pulse exporters through our national association, Pulse Canada to tackle issues such as transportation, maximum residue limits, and free trade agreements. Click here to learn more about Pulse Canada’s role.

Maximum Residue Limits

Although the pulse industry in Canada has made significant progress in developing acceptable maximum residue levels (MRLs) globally for pulse crop products used in Canada, growers are still advised to be aware of possible marketing restrictions that may arise from using certain desiccants/harvest management tools.

MRLs are set by CODEX and adhered to by countries around the world. For more information on MRLs in Canada, click here.

Free Trade Agreements

Canadian agriculture is made up of many diverse agricultural sectors. Canada’s large arable land base and small domestic population require the establishment of export markets for the majority of our products.

SPG works together with industry to draw awareness to the importance of advancing Canadian bilateral and regional trade agreements. As such we are constantly assessing which markets are important for Canadian agriculture and why they are important to our industry.

CODEX Reform

Trade in food products is key to food security and mitigation of food price volatility. Addressing barriers to trade is an important part of the strategy to enhance development of commercial opportunities for subsistence farmers. Tariff barriers that restrict access reduce the value of pulse exports by reducing the price and/or quantity of pulse exports. Non-tariff barriers such as phytosanitary, health, or food safety barriers can create significant costs for the pulse industry, including demurrage, interest charges and re-selling distressed cargo. In cases where market access problems threaten to close markets, there can be devastating impacts on farm gate prices. The cost of tariff and non-tariff barriers is borne by farmers, processors and exporters, but is also borne by importers and consumers in the final destination market, who are ultimately paying more for the product. Creating greater efficiencies by ensuring open access to markets and predictability of trade is of benefit to all members of the value chain, from farmers to the end consumer.