-  Tuesday 19 January 2021

‘Exports to EU cramped by high costs of standard compliance’

Indian exporters to EU are finding it increasingly difficult to comply with EU’s product and process standards, according to a survey carried out by Ficci. The survey reveals that in some cases the cost of complying with EU standards could be as high as 65% of the production cost of the good.

Exporters of a wide variety of products like grapes, chillies, machinery, textiles, garments, switch-gears, refrigerators, mango, papaya, pineapple and chemicals say high cost of certificates for complying with EU standards and lack of availability of certifying agencies in the country to issue such certificates is making it difficult for them to export to EU.

The recommendations of the survey have been submitted to the ministry of commerce and industry. Ficci has requested the government to take it up with EU authorities in the India-EU High Level Trade Group set up recently.

In case of agricultural items, especially fruits, an Indian exporter needs to have a number of certificates like EurepGap Certificate, British Retailers Consortium (BRC) Certificate, Fumigation Certificate, Codex, HACCP Certification, Kosher Certification, ISO 9001 Certification, and Natur’s Choice Certification. Ficci said that the cost of EurepGap certificate comes to Rs 1 lakh per farmer, the cost of BRC certificate is euro 4500 and the cost of Kosher certificate is euro 3500.

Besides this, testing analysis cost for maximum residue level (MRL) for pesticides is close to euro 200 per parameter. All these costs are high not only for small exporters but even for the large size exporters.

In addition to the high cost of complying with standards, Indian exporters of agricultural products are finding it difficult to export to EU because of EU’s categorisation of India as GBR-I country, delay in approval by EU agencies for our processing units of egg and milk products and frequent changes in MRL levels by EU.

Ficci has said that EU’s categorisation of India as a GBR-II country (i.e. Cattle being affected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy [BSE] or madcow disease is unlikely, but not excluded) is hampering our exports of animal products. The delay in redetermining the status of India as GBR-I (no risk of BSE) country is affecting our exports, the survey pointed out.


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