India Market Access for Canadian Pulses

As growers begin the 2017 seeding season, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) wanted to provide an update to growers on market access to India, Canada’s largest market for pulses.

On May 3rd, India posted draft amendments to its Plant Quarantine Order regarding import requirements for several products, including pulses from Canada. SPG is encouraged by the positive steps towards the resolution of phytosanitary restrictions around Canadian pulse crops destined for India.

Pulse Canada has been working closely with Government of Canada, on the behalf of Saskatchewan pulse growers, to seek clarification on draft amendments to India’s import requirements for Canadian pulses. The document suggests that current concerns may be possible to resolve through India’s recognition and acceptance of Canada’s systems approach for dealing with phytosanitary concerns in Canadian pulse crops imported into India. The document suggests implementing the systems approach for a two-to-three year period, and during this time the Indian Government will monitor its effectiveness.

There are still some potential limitations to trade outlined in the draft document, including a continued fumigation requirement, with the proposed use of phosphine, which is subject to temperature limitations under Canadian labeling. Pulse Canada is working with the Government of Canada to ensure that the Indian Government is fully aware of these restrictions, and understands that Canada’s systems approach is designed to address all areas of concern that the Government of India has identified for Canadian pulse imports.

The strength of Canada’s systems approach is the many checks and balances in the Canadian value chain, as well as regulatory oversight, cold Canadian winters to minimize pests of risk to India, and, in the rare cases where quarantine pests are detected, thorough corrective actions.

As communicated in our March 30 message, Canadian access to India continues under the March 2017 fumigation derogation that allows access for shipments of pulses leaving Canada before June 30, 2017. India is Canada’s largest market for pulse crops, with Canadian exports to India accounting for more than $1.1 billion and more than 1.9 million tonnes last year. 

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.

Previous Updates on India Market Access

February 24, 2017

March 30, 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.