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Press Release > Non-tariff barriers
Non-tariff barriers biggest
concern to food trade and food security in South Asia: Resolution
could add US$ 10 billion to India’s GDP
New Delhi, February 11, 2016
biggest concerns for food security in South Asia are the barriers to
food trade in the region, resulting from an absence of timely
reforms. These include sanitary and phyto-sanitary barriers (SPS),
Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and problematic administrative
measures, as identified in the research report ‘Non-Tariff
Measures (NTMs) to Food Trade in India: A Case Study of Selected
Ports’ released by the Centre for Policy Research, along with
CUTS International and the Asia Foundation.
Chaterjee, Executive Director, CUTS International said, “Given
the multitude of agencies involved in administering food imports at
these trading posts, better coordination and capacity building is
required for personnel dealing with specific matters. Often, delays
in clearances occur due to misinterpretation of executive orders or
lack of communication between key personnel at these ports”.
“Economic losses from business process delays can get pretty large”
points Sagar Prasai, Head of the Asia Foundation in India, "while
estimates vary, we could be looking at a US $ 10 billion gain in
GDP, if basic business processes around clearances, certification
and labelling begin to function in a predictable manner"
integration and harmonization of SPS, TBT, and administrative
measures can greatly help improve the food security framework in
Addressing some of the infrastructural issues at trading posts
will help reduce time costs and help ease trade.
inter-agency coordination, capacity building measures,
transparency in testing procedures and trained personnel at the
border trading posts will help result in improved food trade in
“Reforms to address NTMs will help India move up the Ease of Doing
Business Ranking”, said Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Senior Fellow at the
Centre for Policy Research. “With Prime Minister Narendra Modi
focusing on improving relations with India's South Asian neighbours,
it is opportune for India to lower barriers for food trade within
South Asia. Moreover, this will also help in establishing a robust
food security framework in the region"
Research on identifying and assessing such Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs)
was conducted at six trading ports in India: at land ports in
Attari, Agartala, Panitanki and Petrapole, and at the sea ports of
Chennai and Mumbai – the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
study used perception and field surveys to talk to various
stakeholders such as exporters, importers, freight forwarders,
clearing agents, customs officials, port authorities, shipping
lines, container freight stations chamber houses and officials
working in agencies such as the Food Safety Standards Authority of
India (FSSAI), Plant Quarantine (PQ) and Animal Quarantine (AQ)
thorough analyses of food import processes at these ports,
recommendations were drawn to help reduce NTMs.
For more information, please
Coordinator and Research Associate
Project on Food Trade, Centre for Policy Research