I. Cereals

1. 2017 Basmati Code of Practice

After eighteen months of negotiation, the Rice Association (RA) of UK has announced a revised code of practice on Basmati rice, which had last been updated in 2005.  RA convened a meeting of all stakeholders in February 2017 at London where APEDA participated with IARI and AIREA.   In the intervening period Government of India had notified several new varieties of Basmati rice under the Seeds Act, 1966 but these were not recognized for placing in the UK market for sale as Basmati rice.  The revised code came into effect on July 1, 2017 subsequent to which new varieties of Basmati rice such as Pusa Basmati 1121 and Pusa Basmati 1509 can be exported from India to UK labeled as Basmati rice after payment of duty.

2. Promoting Judicious Use of Pesticides

(i) Up to June 2017, the maximum residue limit for Tricyclazole (TCA) on rice in European Union (EU) was 1mg/kg.  Subsequent to non approval of TCA the MRL has been brought at the default level i.e. 0.01 mg/kg.  After December 30, 2017 Basmati rice in EU will have to meet the new MRL at LOD.  In order to ensure that Basmati rice varieties like Pusa Basmati 1 and PB 1401 grown during Kharif, 2017 meet new standards.  A campaign was started to promote judicious use of pesticides. 
(ii) About 25 workshops were conducted through Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF) and in association with All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) during May-August 2017 in seven GI area states to increase awareness of farmers about production of high quality Basmati rice for export.  Faculty from SAUs and ICAR institutions have been involved to disseminate information about Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) including judicious use of pesticides.
(ii) Departments of Agriculture in the seven Basmati growing States where requested to issue appropriate advisory to the farmers in local language through local radio, cable operators and vernacular press. Farmers were advised that for management of pest and diseases on Basmati crop, only those chemicals are used which are recommended for application on rice by the State Agriculture Universities (SAUs). Recommendations of SAUs in respect of doses and pre-harvest interval will be taken into account while taking decision about use of a pesticide.

3. Pre-shipment testing of pesticide residues for export to EU

Requirement of Pre-shipment Testing of Pesticide Residues for export of Basmati Rice to European Union w.e.f. November 1, 2017 was notified vide Trade Notice dated July 26, 2017.  List of following 22 Pesticides to be tested has been decided in consultation with trade and industry:
Sr. No.
Details of Agrochemicals
EU MRL (mg/kg)/ppm
Carbendazim+ Benomyl [sum of benomyl and carbendazim expressed as carbendazim (R)]
Flonicamid (sum of flonicamid, TNFG and TNFA) (R)
Metconazole (sum of isomers) (F)
Thiophanate Methyl
Cyfluthrin (Cyfluthrin including other mixtures of constituent isomers (sum of isomers) (F)

4. Basmati.Net – web enabled Traceability System

Web-enabled traceability system Basmati.Net has been developed and hosted on APEDA website.  Basmati.Net is aimed to provide a common platform to all stakeholders in supply chain to enter details of activity/activities undertaken by them as part of Basmati value chain.  Through this mechanism/system, authenticity of Basmati rice reaching to the consumer in India or abroad can be ensured. 
Following stakeholders as part of Basmati rice supply chain are required to participate in Basmati.Net:
-Farmers of Basmati Paddy in GI area
-Agriculture Produce Markets and Commission Agents
-Paddy Traders
-Basmati Rice Millers and Processors
-Basmati Rice Exporters and Suppliers in Domestic Market
Departments of Agriculture in seven GI area states were requested to convene meetings to sensitize the officers of the state agencies including Mandi Parishad about registration of farmers, commission agents in APMC markets.  Meetings in U.P and Delhi were held during July, 2017. 

5. Export policy of pulses- Registration of pulses export from 15.09.2017 to 22.11.2017

Vide DGFT Notification No. 38/2015-2020 dated November 22, 2017 export of all varieties of pulses has been made free through custom EDI Ports.  Export through the non EDI land custom stations on Indo Bangladesh and Indo Nepal border shall also be allowed subject to registration of quantity with DGFT Regional Authorities in Kolkata and Patna and such other RAs as notified by DGFT from time to time. 

Prior to this, export of Toor Dal, Moong and Urad was permitted as per DGFT Notification No. 28 /2015-2020 dated September 15, 2017 subject to registration of contracts with APEDA.  During the period from September 15 to November 22, 2017 contracts for export of about 4362 MT of these three pulses were registered by APEDA.

6. Export of raw sugar to USA under TRQ

As per Public Notice No.13/2015-2020 dated July 27, 2017  quota  of 8424 MT of raw cane sugar (at 98 degree pol)  has been notified by DGFT  for export to USA under TRQ for the US fiscal year 2018 ending on  September 30, 2018. This sugar is to be exported out of non-levy (Free Sale) sugar by the exporters.  20% export duty will be applicable on export of raw sugar as per the Department of Revenue’s Notification no.37/2016-Customs dated 16/06/2016.
As per DGFT Notification No 3/2015-2020 dated April 20, 2015, TRQ for the export of raw sugar to USA is to be operated by APEDA. Accordingly, Trade Notice  has been put up on APEDA website inviting applications from exporters for allocation of quota.

7. Promotion of Basmati rice in South America

During 2016-17 export of Basmati rice to over 130 countries has been of the order of 4 million MT with value of USD 3.23 billion.  The export to South American Countries, however, is only about 5000 MT.  It has been decided in consultation with Department of Commerce that markets in relatively prosperous South American countries like Chile, Argentina and Brazil should be explored through innovative means by engaging chef, faculties of hotel management institutes, Indian restaurants, Yoga centres etc. 


The promotion events in Argentina, Brazil and Chile are proposed to be held in April 2018.  To ensure more effective participation by the stakeholders in these countries a meeting was organised at Hotel Le Meredian, New Delhi on September 29, 2017 with the Ambassadors and Trade Counsellors of South American Countries.  Ambassadors participating in the meeting appreciated the proposal of holding promotion event in that region and indicated that substantial potential existed for import of Basmati rice in their respective countries.

8. Duty Derogation by EU for all Varieties of Basmati Rice

An Agreement by way of Exchange of Letters was concluded between European Commission (EC) and India on August 20, 2004 whereby incidence of import duty on husked Basmati rice (meaning de-husked brown rice) imported into EC from India is zero.  The tariff rate for husked rice otherwise is Euro 65 per tonne.  This Agreement was based on negotiations as per Article XXVIII  of the GATT 1994.  This relates to the modification of concessions with respect to rice provided for in EC schedule CXL annexed to the GATT 1994.

Annexure I to the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1549/2004 dated August 30, 2004 providing for transitional rules for import of Basmati rice for eligibility of duty concession contains list of following varieties  of Basmati rice  :
-Basmati 370
-Basmati 386
-Type-3 (Dehradun)
-Taraori Basmati (HBC-19)
-Basmati 217
-Ranbir Basmati
-Pusa Basmati
-Super Basmati

The Government of India has requested EC to accept all varieties of Basmati rice notified under the Seeds Act 1966 for the purpose duty derogation.  The intention of EC to consider this request was mentioned by European side during India-EU Summit held on October 6, 2017 at New Delhi.  It is understood that the Commission has initiated the process of seeking mandate from the Member States.  The conclusion of process and notification is likely to take about two years.