Indonesia lifts suspension of agricultural imports from India

Indonesia has lifted the suspension on agricultural products from India from March 25 with immediate effect, which is major relief to Indian exporters.

Jakarta had suspended agricultural imports such as wheat, sugar, rice and maize from India after the latter failed to register its food safety testing laboratories, which issue Certificate of Analysis (COA), before the March 24 deadline. Indonesia called for fresh registrations as it had sought additional information on COAs.

The Ministry said prior notice should be given by every Indian agricultural or fresh food consignment exporter to Indonesia Government, have a COA issued by one of the registered laboratories besides issuing another notice before its arrival in Indonesia. Food safety tests should not show results exceeding the maximum residue and contamination levels, the Ministry told to Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

The Indonesian Agriculture Ministry said recognition for the food safety laboratories, given in 2019, would not be valid from March 25. It, however, said certificates by these laboratories on or before March 24 would be valid. Though Indian authorities submitted the application for registration of these labs on March 31, it was past the March 25 deadline, leading to a stalemate.

Exporters were concerned as Indonesia imports a good volume of sugar, wheat, rice, maize, groundnut and onion from our country. Indonesia accounted for nearly 30 % of sugar exports from India. This year, too, the trend will continue as Indian prices have been competitive besides the logistical advantage.

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