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Lack of notice a worry on India fumigation exemption

CNS Canada — The CEO of Canada’s pulse industry association says he’s starting to become concerned because a fumigation exemption granted to Canadian pulses exported to India remains expired after 12 days.

Normally this exemption is renewed within three or four days, said Gord Bacon of Pulse Canada.

Bacon said he checks his email every morning, looking for an Indian government memo announcing the extension.

Shipments now en route to India are fine, he said, if they were loaded Sept. 30 or earlier. Those have clearly-spelled-out regulations and the exemption that permits Canadian shippers to forego fumigating their cargoes with methyl bromide still applies — but the rules for product loaded after that are unclear.

“So, any bills of lading from Oct. 1 on, we don’t know, as of today, we don’t know,” he said.

Bacon said he couldn’t say what effect it would have on shippers — whether it might cause them to delay shipments or if it has made it more difficult to execute new sales under the uncertainties that persist.

Phone calls to pulse shippers and analysts for comment were not immediately returned.

Canada had been exempt from Indian government regulations that require pulses to be fumigating before arriving in India. The fumigation process doesn’t work well in cold weather and Canada does not harbour the nematode pest India is trying to keep out by mandating the fumigation.

The exemption has normally been granted on a temporary basis, but pulse industry officials have said in the past that a more permanent solution is needed to avoid the repeated market uncertainties created each time the exemption comes up for renewal.

— Terry Fries writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Glacier FarmMedia company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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