Chilean blueberries and avocados will soon be able to access the Indian market without fumigation following the signing of an agreement to boost technical cooperation on a range of phytosanitary issues between the two countries.
On Friday Angel Sartori, director of Chile’s Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) signed a working plan for 2015/16 with his Indian counterparts during a trade tour of several Asian countries.
The agreement aims to establish a mechanism to monitor commitments made to reduce and simplify the phytosanitary requirements on a number of products traded between the two countries, including Chilean blueberries, avocados, and Indian bananas, coconuts and nuts.
Chile is seeking market access for blueberries and avocados that have not been subjected to fumigation, which affects the condition and quality of the fruit. The new plan proposes to replace fumigation with inspections as a condition of entry.
“This plan is framed within the memorandum of understanding that was signed in 2001, and aims to identify key issues of bilateral interest and provide concrete solutions within a specified timeframe,” said Sartori. “It is a huge step forward, Chile being the only Latin American country to have signed such an agreement with India that will result, over the medium term, in a significant increase in fruit exports to this country.”
In the case of blueberries, India’s phytosanitary authorites are due to present a proposal to the World Trade Organisation in August to change the current import requirements. The final rule is then expected to be published after a 60-day public consultation period.
Chile is also negotiating for a reduction of tariffs of fruit exports to India, which at present stands at around 50 per cent.