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Phytosanitary certificates for exported fruits, vegetables increased

KARACHI: The Federal Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) has recently enhanced the fee for issuance of Phyto-certificate exorbitantly for the exports consignments.

A sudden increase in fee by approximately 800 % for the issuance of Phyto-certificate has been imposed and now the exporters are paying Rs.2500 to get a Phyto-certificate instead of Rs. 300 while this increase has already been implemented from September 2020.

This sudden exorbitant increase in fee of the phyto-certificate without any consultation with the Association (PFVA), being the main stakeholder is unbearable as an abnormal increase of Rs. 2200 would further multiply the cost of the exports’ consignments making it very difficult to compete in international markets.

Waheed making a comparison with other countries stated that the maximum fee of Phyto-certificate in India is USD 1.36 equivalent to PKR 228 while it is USD 0.87 equivalent to PKR 140 in Sri Lanka and USD 0.24 equivalent to PKR 40 in Bangladesh, while Rs. 300 being charged by Pakistan was already higher and now that been further enhanced to Rs.2500 and on top of that for an export’s consignment having multiple containers.

Phyto-certificate is required to obtained for each container separately and hence one can well imagine the high resulting cost of one such export’s shipment. After COVID -19 global pandemic, the export of fruits and vegetables by Air has been encountering great difficulties due to exorbitant increase in the cost of Airfreight by the Airlines and with such undesirable increase in the issuance fee of Phyto-certificate, it has added fuel to the fire and hence the possibility of complete discontinuation export of fruits and vegetables by- air can not be ruled out since the cost of pytho-certificate is far much higher than the profit earned on an item.

Waheed Ahmed added that the PFVA, Federal Govt. and Ministry of Commerce are jointly striving hard to enhance exports of fruits and vegetables and due to these strenuous efforts, the export of fruits and vegetables was enhanced and fetched valuable foreign exchange of USD 730 million by export despite the closure of international market and logistic issues in Pakistan during the global pandemic of Covid-19 while all efforts are being made to ensure consistency in exports enhancement this year.

The Federal Ministry of National Food Security and Research has been appealed by Waheed Ahmed to re-consider the recent abnormal increase in the issuance fee of Phyto-certificate and keeping the national and International situation in view, the fee shall be brought down to a reasonable level, compared with other countries.

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