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February 13, 2018

Pakistan, Canada unable to solve agro exports fumigation issue


February 13, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Canada have so far remained unable to sort out differences over the issue of fumigation of Canadian agriculture exports to Pakistan after passing of several years, The News has learnt.

Now Pakistan’s Minister for Commerce Pervez Malik is currently visiting Canada for finding out ways and means to boost bilateral trade which has largely remained in favour of Canada since 2007.

Official sources confirmed to The News here on Monday that in 2007, contaminants, soil weeds, seeds, plant parts were detected from Canadian cargoes. It was found that the phyto-sanitary certificate issued by National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) Canada without requiring the import permit specified by DPP that contains phyto-sanitary treatments for import.

The DPP requested NPPO through a notification to ensure prescribed standardisation measures before shipment of grains and pulses to Pakistan.

Trade Commissioner of Canada in Pakistan informed that DPP has accorded waiver to Canadian cargo with respect to fumigation requirement with aluminum phosphate and methyl bromide on the request of Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) because Aluminum phosphate cannot be applied to the cargo due to low temperature in Canada, whereas methyl bromide has been phased out in Canada. The matter was discussed by CFIA and DPP with DG DPP and Deputy Director Quarantine.

Both sides agreed that DPP will consider use of integrated measures in systems approach for pest risks management proposed by CFIA. The CFIA will provide information on integrated measures in systems approach for its legal and technical evaluation to DPP.

The CFIA will invite technical exports of DPP to show official procedures to ensure export of cargo free of quarantine pests for Pakistan. DPP will continue to allow entry of all cargos from Canada whether compliant or non-compliant after certain SPS measures during the interim period. DPP will share new import conditions of pulses and grains for consumption/processing with CFIA based on science and will be finalised by 9th July 2017 with agreement of CFIA.

The DPP has completed the legal and technical evaluations of information provided by the NPPO, Canada. DPP awaits invitation from CFIA for visit of experts of DPP to the have on-the-spot inspection of integrated measures.

After finishing the Pest Risk Analysis (PRA), the DPP will finalise scientific based alternate quarantine protocols requirement for the products to be imported from Canada to Pakistan which will be, then, discussed by both sides.

DPP has extended the interim period till completion of PRA and finalisation of new quarantine protocol requirement. In the meanwhile, the DPP will continue to allow entry of all cargos from Canada by treating them (fumigation) on arrival.

The then commerce minister apprised his counterpart in Canada of the above position and that the DPP experts visited Canada on the invitation from CFIA to move further in the matter. However, the DPP experts did not provide their report on the matter to the Commerce Division. The status quo is in favour of Canada as their exports are being cleared.

“A report regarding visit of DPP experts to Canadian is under preparation. However, it is informed by DPP that they are not satisfied by the approach system of Canada and there are certain observations in the system and more negotiations are required to sort out the issue of fumigation of Canadian agricultural exports to Pakistan. But the trade will continue with certain conditions with Canada” said one top official while quoting an official report on this matter.

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