Tuesday October 23, 2018

Big losses for exporters from defunct Sri Lanka quarantine service email

Jun 16, 2017 14:37 PM GMT+0530 | 6 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT – A defunct email of Sri Lanka’s National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQS) caused big losses for fruit and vegetable exporters after European Union warnings of interceptions of shipments were not received in time, a new study has revealed.

Failure of government agencies to provide accurate contact details can have far reaching consequences, according to a study by Verité Research, a private think-tank, of difficulties faced by Sri Lankan agriculture exporters.

One example of this was the failure of NPQS to ensure that the email address they provided to receive notifications from other trading-partner countries was functional.

EU Member States notified the NPQS regarding a total of 544 interceptions on fruit, vegetables and plants for planting from Sri Lanka between 01 January 2011  and 31 December 2014

The notifications were sent using EUROPHYT, the EU’s notification system for plant health interceptions, according to the study on ‘Sri Lanka's Domestic Barriers to Trade: Case Studies of Agricultural Exports’.
 It said 422 of these interceptions were due to the presence of harmful organisms and te remaining 122 were due mainly to non-compliant or missing phytosanitary certificates.

“However, NPQS did not receive these notifications on time, as the email address they provided, to which EUROPHYT forwarded the information, was no longer in use,” the study said.

As a result, NPQS failed to take the required corrective actions and the interceptions grew to a level requiring the EU to launch a full-scale audit of the NPQS in 2015.

“It was only following the audit that information regarding export procedures to the EU was clarified and corrective measures taken,” Verité Research said.

“The delay caused by the NPQS in its failure to update their contact details accurately caused fruit and vegetable exporters – over 80% of whom operate on small and medium scales i.e. an annual export turnover of Rs60 million or less - to incur significant losses.”
(COLOMBO, June 15, 2017)



  1. Raj June 20, 05:33 AM

    I would also like to comment in agreement with nana. Yes you must go to courts and see who is going to get trapped. Definitely verite research and these publishers for publishing wrong information and exporters who brought in dishonor to the country regardless the hard work of National Plant Quarantine Service.

  2. vidusha June 20, 05:28 AM

    Until todate the National Plant Quarantine Service is trying hard to avoid a future ban on this sector. Do you know that these reputed companies who blame on government has requested a release of plant quarantine inspections on their consignments?Do you know that due to very reputed exporters as it says, have exported material with pests and recently we got a ban on export of tomatos to Seychelles

  3. Jayani Nimanthika June 20, 05:04 AM

    It is very unlucky to see this post. A group of advice researchers who even could not understand the report published by European Union on the mentioned audit is telling something that is totally wrong.
    I invite you all to read the audit report at http://ec.europa.eu/food/audits-analysis/auditreports/details.cfm?repid3460That will give you idea on the irresponsible nature of exporters (which also included certain exporters representing the f v exporters association) and how hard the National Plant Quarantine Service and Department of agriculture tried to prevent an complete export ban on f v sector and how the National Plant Quarantine Service was successful.
    If you read only you would understand that this entire post is malicious. Hope all of you have good brains.

  4. Yahajeewa June 19, 12:17 PM

    The authors fails to recognize the fact that the NPQS has taken all the precautions and successfully avoided the EU ban. The problem was not with the NPQS in general but with the person who should have submitted the correct address of the Sri Lankan National Plant Protection Organization.
    This happened with the sudden decision of the authorities to change the administrative activities of the NPQS without looking into the factors that may cause problems at international levels.

  5. Raji June 17, 12:45 PM

    Not a practical solution Nana. Best is the govt to identify and compensate the affected exporters of course if they have money in their coffers. Also literally exporters will not want to go to courts against govt agencies and be in the bad books of those agencies. Such action will ultimately boomerang on the exporters themselves.

  6. Nana June 16, 09:44 AM

    Pls goto Court against these Govt units. These agencies are there to provide services not to sleep. They are charging fees too. If they cany let these be privatised.

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