Skip to main content

Almond Byte, January 2023: Trade Leaders Confirmed, PEC Issues in UK, Hulls to China and More

January's Global Update from the Global Technical and Regulatory Affairs team at the Almond Board of California.


Ag Trade Leaders are Confirmed by Senate

After being nominated for leadership positions by the Biden administration last spring, Alexis Taylor was confirmed by the US Senate as Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs at USDA on Dec 21. In addition, Doug McKalip was confirmed as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Dec 22. Alexis Taylor was sworn in on Dec 29 at USDA.

The confirmations came after a flurry of political brokering at the end of a lame-duck session after several senators lifted their holds. Alexis has a good understanding of the issues facing almonds and other ag commodities, after having been in USDA for several years. ABC has already reached out with congratulations and will be organizing meetings as soon as possible.

Update on UK PEC Certificate

In late December 2022, ABC was made aware of Great Britain (GB) requiring a GB-specific version of PreExport Check (PEC) certificate to accompany California almond exports to Great Britain. ABC contacted both UK Port Authority and FAS staff in London to ensure no shipments would be detained pending an updated PEC certificate. Further, ABC also reminded the UK Port Authorities that PEC is not a condition of import. UK authorities have agreed to accept the current PEC certificate while the situation is being reviewed.

Currently, ABC is working with USDA/FAS and AMS to find an agreement with UK import control authorities to modify the existing PEC system to satisfy GB requirements. We will update the industry once the modified PEC is rolled out. If any handlers have their shipments impacted, please reach out immediately to

Almond Hull Market Access Update for China

On December 21, 2022, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) provided a written response to ABC’s application to include Almond Hulls in MARA’s official feed ingredients catalog. Inclusion in the catalog is required before firms can bring almond hulls into Chinese feed channels. The response came after the initial application was submitted in November 2021 along with several revisions made in 2022. MARA is requesting additional information needed to establish domestic standards for almond hulls in the feed catalog including parameters for NDF and mold counts among other details.

ABC staff will continue to work with our consultant in Beijing and colleagues at the Almond Alliance to make sure that the final “standards” to be published in MARA’s feed catalog are reasonable and least restrictive for US suppliers. For more information, please contact

Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) Entered into force on December 29, 2022

According to a recent Australian government press release, ECTA has entered into force. It states that, “Over 85 percent of Australian goods exports by value to India are now tariff-free, rising to 90 percent in six years, and high tariffs have been reduced on some additional products. In addition, 96 percent of imports from India are now tariff-free, rising to 100 percent in four years.” For almonds, the new annual Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) allows 34,000 MT (about 75 million lbs) of inshell/shelled almonds to enter India at 50% of the current Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff levels. This more than covers current Australian shipments to India. Imports above the TRQ are at the full MFN rate:

Within TRQ: 17.5 Rps/kg inshell and 50 Rps/kg kernel.

Above TRQ: 35 Rps/kg inshell and 100 Rps/kg kernel

According to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, “To access a TRQ, exporters will need a TRQ certificate. Under ECTA, Australia will issue TRQ certificates to exporters or producers and share them with Indian Customs authorities. The importer in India will lodge a request letter, along with the reference for the certificate, to Indian Customs authorities. The authorities will in turn issue a No Objection Certificate to the Indian importer for each TRQ certificate received from Australia.”

India currently maintains retaliatory tariffs of 41 Rps/kg on U.S. inshell almonds and 120 Rps/kg on U.S. shelled almonds. ABC will be monitoring how the implementation of the TRQ impacts U.S. shipments.