STC Number - 434

India's fumigation requirements for teak tree wood

Maintained by: India
Raised by: Colombia
Supported by: Belize; Costa Rica; Liberia
First date raised: November 2017 G/SPS/R/88, paras. 3.17-3.19; See also STC 417
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/IND/149
Products covered: 4403 Wood in the rough, whether or not stripped of bark or sapwood, or roughly squared.

Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: Pests; Plant health; Pesticides
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In November 2017, Colombia raised a concern over India's requirement that teakwood be fumigated with methyl bromide at the port of export, as notified in G/SPS/N/IND/149, with a transition period ending on 31 December 2017. Colombia noted that, as other WTO Members, it did not approve the use of the substance, following the Montreal Protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer recommendation to gradually eliminate this substance. Colombia elaborated that it had requested that India accept the use of alternatives such as phosphine for teakwood treatment, as it had accepted it for teakwood exports from other trading partners. Colombia argued this would meet the appropriate level of phytosanitary protection, while also complying with the aforementioned international convention.

Belize, Costa Rica and Liberia shared the concern. Costa Rica mentioned other possible alternatives to methyl bromide fumigation, including the use of sunlight to increase the temperature, crop rotation, the use of other herbicides, and using microorganisms to control weeds and other pests.

India noted that it had relaxed methyl bromide fumigation requirements until 31 December 2017 and agricultural imports from countries whose products could not be fumigated with methyl bromide at the port of export could be fumigated upon arrival in India. The Montreal Protocol allowed for the use of methyl bromide for quarantine purposes. Additional information was available on the website of India's Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, India also reported that its NPPO had formally requested Colombia for information to consider its request to use an alternative fumigant.