Indonesia has declined the import of agricultural products from India as authorities have failed to register laboratories that test food safety and issue a certificate of analysis (COA).
The ban can prove to be a disaster if we have to call back our cargo,” exporters said.
The Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, in an order to the head of its Agricultural Quarantine Centre, said its permission to laboratories for testing the safety of fresh food from India and issuing the COA stands cancelled from March 25 this year.
The Ministry said COAs are issued by laboratories that clear exports of fresh food of plant origin approved in 2019 would not be valid, though certificates issued on or before March 24 will be valid.
Indonesia has suspended permission to about 15 agencies that issue COAs for Indian agricultural exports, said M Madan Prakash, President, Agri Commodities Exporters Association.
Indonesia has circulated its order among Indian exporters. The development comes on the heels of Indonesia issuing a notice to exporters to provide some additional information about the COA.
Indonesia had issued the notification 3-4 months ago. While countries such as Vietnam and Thailand got their laboratories issuing COAs registered well in advance, Indian authorities failed to meet the deadline. The application for registration should be done through diplomatic channels. But embassy authorities in Jakarta failed to register on time.
Many shipments on their way to Indonesian ports now face the threat of being stopped or held up. Finally, the Indian authorities submitted the application on March 31 but a delay exists since it was well past the deadline of March 25.
When contacted, official sources said the issue of extension of registration of Indian laboratories along with the clearance of the shipments which have got tested by them before the deadline expired has been taken up with the Indonesian authorities through the Indian embassy.
“The matter is being pursued (at Jakarta) and likely to be resolved shortly,” said an official.
Exporters are concerned over the current status since Indonesia is importing sugar, wheat, rice, maize, chilli, groundnut and onion from India.
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