The CEO of Pulse Canada says exporters now have some clarity on the pulse export policy to India. India has issued a three month extension to its call for Canadian pulse exports to be fumigated prior to arriving in the country.

Gordon Bacon says it's really important that Canadian trade understands the rules that are going to be in place at the export period, adding it's critical for Canadian exporters to know not only the policy but also the fees and other costs that are involved.

"Canadian exports will not be subject to five-times the normal fumigation fee which is in place for some other originations of pulse exports to India, so this is good. We know that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will issue phytosanitary certificates to Canadian companies and we know that those cargos are not going to be charged fees when they arrive in India."

Bacon admits that the recent uncertainty in the market has had an impact and says that's why this extension is a good-news announcement. "From the perspective of knowing what the policy will be until the end of September."

He adds the hope now is to use this three month window to work with the governments of Canada and India to come up with a long term policy solution that builds on the Canada Systems Approach document submitted to Indian officials.

"Which is just a document that's taking a look at what are the pests of concern in India? What is the presence, if any, of those pests in Canada? And what is it we're doing to provide a high level of assurance to India that exports from Canada to India don't present a problem?"

Bacon notes it's been Pulse Canada's position that Canada is not a risk in terms of plant quarantine issues for India and that the long term policy should be based on that very low level of risk of Canadian shipments.

"We need to use this time and move very quickly to put (back) some certainty, not just for another three or six months, but let's really focus on getting a long term policy in place."

Meantime, Bacon points out that some countries have been granted a six-month window with policies defined by India until the end of December, whereas Canada is unique and is the only country that was given a three-month extension.

While he can't explain the reasons why Canada was singled-out in this way, Bacon says he's choosing to look at it as a positive. He points to the Systems Approach document filled with the Indian government.

"I think we're one of the few, perhaps one of the only countries, that did a thorough and kind of comprehensive look at things. So perhaps it's because India has a lot of information."

Bacon explains that the document was first tabled in India in December 2016 with some updates in February 2016.

"So this is a process that has been underway for at least six months, so perhaps we can look at this as a good sign that we're closer to understanding what a long term solution could be and that's why Canada is unique."

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