India asks US to relax norms for greater access to mangoes
India has asked the US to relax certain norms related to irradiation for greater access to homegrown mangoes in the American markets, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
Several other agri and non-agri products face non-tax barriers in the US markets.
The phyto-sanitary (related with plants) norms imposed by the US for mangoes from India requires irradiation treatment and inspection prior to the shipment.
"This time-consuming and costly process of certification makes Indian mangoes less competitive in the US market," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
She said that the government has requested the US to "relax these norms".
India has also sought the option of irradiation at source or upon arrival in the US to provide flexibility for Indian exporters, she said.
Besides, the country has proposed that US should allow National Plant Protection Organisation to carry out pre-shipment inspection of mangoes to save cost, a process which is currently conducted jointly by India and the US, she added.
Similarly, the US has imposed certain irradiation treatment conditions for pomegranate exports from India.
The minister said America has not granted market access to the Indian grapes either.
"The US has granted market access to Indian Litchis after the performance of cold treatment. However, no Litchis have been exported in the last two years," she said.
This is because of APEAD's inability to organise a training programme for their officials on cold treatment monitoring.
The minister also listed out other non-tax barriers being faced by Indian exporters in the US market.