Sri Lanka’s EDB says India’s food safety and standards authority to set up three labs in Sri Lanka to issue food and beverage standards certificates

Sri Lanka’s EDB says India’s food safety and standards authority to set up three labs in Sri Lanka to issue food and beverage standards certificates

The Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka has reportedly stated that India’s food safety and standards authority has authorized three labs in Sri Lanka to issue food and beverage standards certificates which will not be rejected at the Indian border.
“The Indian Food Authority has come into Sri Lanka and there are now three laboratories, where when the certification is given in Sri Lanka, is accepted at the borders in India,” Chairperson of Sri Lanka’s EDB, Indira Malwatte said.
She has reportedly said that the EDB will follow proactive measures in enhancing Sri Lanka’s trade not only with India, but across other export markets as well.
Malwatte has made this observation at an economic forum organized by the Institute of Policy Studies in memory of its former chief Saman Kelegama, a top trade economist who passed away last year.
According to reports, the EDB in May 2018 said that it had submitted the names of five local state-owned and private sector labs for the approval of the Indian food standards regulator to allow these labs to issue certificates which won’t be rejected in India.
Indian border agencies had been rejecting Sri Lankan food shipments or subjecting them to re-testing in India, which are some of the non-tariff barriers still present in trade between the two countries despite the existence of a free trade agreement (FTA), Malwatte has said.
“The food sector is very important in the export basket to the Indian market,” Malwatte has said.
“So without complaining, without saying India is not looking at us or India is not allowing us, what we did was we spoke to the Food Authority of India and we said ‘Why can’t we get these products across to you?” she has said.
Tea, spices, flavoured water and nuts were listed as some of the popular export items to India in 2016, according to the EDB.
India had slapped a minimum import price for pepper imported from Sri Lanka, after Indian produces had protested saying that products from South East Asia were being re-exported to India through the India-Sri Lanka FTA without meeting the value-addition criteria.
India is Sri Lanka’s third largest export destination after the US and EU.

OSL take:

Since India is Sri Lanka’s third largest export destination, the authorization by Indian labs in Sri Lanka set up by India’s food safety and standards authority on food and beverage standards will result in such products being exported from Sri Lanka to the India reaching the market without being stopped at the Indian border. While this would provide a further boost to Sri Lankan products exported to the Indian market, other foreign companies interested in exporting goods to India could use Sri Lanka as a base to carry out their operations.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20180710/Z-5

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