Algeria Requires Fumigation
ABC sent out a note to handlers on January 26 stating that Algeria does not require fumigation per USDA/APHIS. However, after further follow-up, it has been confirmed that a fumigation requirement implemented in late 2022 only allows Aluminum or Magnesium Phosphide fumigation of products intended for export to Algeria. The fumigation information must be included on the mandatory phytosanitary certificate. APHIS updated its online PCIT/PExD database accordingly on January 30. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on French and Spanish Environmental Packaging Measures
In January, ABC received some disconcerting reports about France and Spain separately implementing new measures related to environmental packaging laws that still have not been fully implemented by the EU. Spain was the first to implement a new plastic tax (Spanish Law 7/2022) that went into effect on Jan 1, 2023 which levies a tax of 0.45 euro per kilogram on the proportion of non-recyclable plastic in the packaging material. Spain has not published any official guidance yet to assist stakeholders in compliance. We are advising industry members to work with their buyers in providing the requested information. It is our understanding that some buyers have provided templates, while others have requested a packing list on company letterhead or a declaration on invoices. Where claims about recycled plastic % have been made, you may be asked to provide a copy of the certificate from your packaging suppliers. But at this point, we are not aware of any specific requirements for how the information is to be provided. We will provide more guidance as soon as we receive it from the USDA office in Madrid.
The other issue is related to a proposed new environmental labeling scheme in France that will go into effect at the end of 2023. The purpose of the labeling is to “inform consumers about the environmental qualities and characteristics of waste-generating products”, and will mainly apply to textiles, electronics, toys, etc. While this labeling is not targeted at food products, it is unknown if this could change in the future.
Neither of these initiatives are part of the EU’s proposed Green Deal but were instead developed a few years earlier and are slowly being implemented in various EU member states. For more information, contact email@example.com.
India Trade Policy Forum Yields Some Results for Pecans
On January 11, 2023, the U.S. and India held the 13th Ministerial-level meeting of the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) in DC. A joint statement published after the meeting indicated many issues were discussed including remaining work on finalizing access for certain agricultural products of interest to both sides, increased dialogue on food and agricultural trade issues, reestablishment of GSP, and potential targeted tariff reductions. On February 2, Senator Jon Ossoff from Georgia issued a press release that India was cutting tariffs on imports of pecans from 100 percent to 30 percent. This was confirmed in the Indian Finance Ministry’s proposed annual budget, released on Feb. 1.
This is excellent news for U.S. and Mexican pecan growers but does not address the retaliatory tariffs on several U.S. agricultural commodities going to India. We are hopeful that further market access issues and tariff reductions in India will be addressed again in the near future, given the fact that California Almonds are the largest U.S. agricultural export to India.