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Almond Byte, July 2023: D.C. Trip and India, UK PEC and China Registration Updates


Highlights from July's Global Update, from the Global, Technical and Regulatory Affairs team at the Almond Board of California, in today's Almond Byte.

ABC Visit to DC Coincides with India Tariff Reductions

The annual Almond Board of California (ABC) industry delegation visit to Washington DC coincided this year with the first State Visit of India’s Prime Minister Modi. During the week of June 19th, the delegation met with several U.S. government officials including Ambassador McKalip, the United States Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator, as well as with the United States Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti. Discussions have been held with U.S. officials for many months/years about the importance of the almond trade with India and the negative impacts of retaliatory tariffs. This has been compounded by the favorable trade agreement recently concluded between India and Australia which benefits Australian almonds exported to the Indian market.

On June 22nd, Indian and U.S. Government officials announced that retaliatory tariffs (Section 232) applied to imports of U.S. almonds into India will be removed within the next 90 days. The tariffs will be dropped to India’s bound rates of 35 rps/kg for inshell and 100 rps/kg for shelled almonds. While this is great news, we are still at a competitive disadvantage with Australia – whose duty rate is 50% lower. ABC staff will monitor India’s implementation date, and advise when it is published. For more info, please contact Julie Adams.

UK PEC Update

Great Britain (GB) is in the process of revising regulations that it retained from the European Union (EU) post-Brexit. This includes EU regulation 2015/949, which governs the Pre-Export Check (PEC) program that recognizes California almonds for a reduced inspection rate upon arrival in the EU. Following discussions between AMS, ABC, and UK authorities, UK authorities indicated they will continue to recognize PEC but will require changes to the existing EU PEC certificate. The UK indicated its flexibility in certificate format, allowing us to leverage existing PEC procedures and database information to generate a GB/UK-specific PEC certificate when product is shipped to the UK.

Once the new format has been agreed between all parties, there will be a six-month transition period where shippers can continue using the EU PEC certificate. Once ready, ABC will conduct informational training for all shippers in generating the new UK-specific PEC certificate. For more information, contact Abhi Kulkarni.

Handlers Finalize China Facility Registrations

Around 65 almond processing facilities finalized their registrations with Chinese Customs (GACC) before the June 30 deadline. FDA provided great assistance in making sure that all handlers were able to upload and submit mandatory documents including last-minute, self-assessment checklists required by GACC to finalize the registrations. Handlers are advised to continue to monitor their accounts for final approvals from GACC. Registrations should be valid for the next 5 years. FDA also informed ABC that handlers will be required to keep their FDA biennial registrations and related Export Listing Module (ELM) information for China up to date. FDA will send out email reminders accordingly. For more information about your GACC account situation, please contact Keith Schneller.