Sri Lanka, India standards deal proposed
ECONOMYNEXT – A Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) has been proposed between Sri Lankan and Indian authorities to overcome non-tariff barriers faced by the island’s fruits and vegetable exporters.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said the proposal was made after Verité Research, a think tank, examined difficulties faced by the island’s exporters in shipping products to India.
“Non-tariff barriers (NTBs) have been identified as a key constraint faced by Sri Lankan exporters in entering the Indian market,” it said in a statement.
One significant NTB examined in the study was the delays and costs incurred proving compliance with Indian standards and technical regulations at Indian borders.
Verité’s study proposes a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between Sri Lankan and Indian authorities as a solution to the problem.
An MRA will allow Sri Lankan exporters to get products checked for compliance with Indian rules at the Sri Lankan port.
This will “prevent them from having to go undergo further checks and resulting delays and costs at the Indian ports,” the statement said.
The idea was mooted at a forum for the Lanka Fruit and Vegetables Producers, Processors and Exporters Association affiliated to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
The forum also proposed improving the capacity and credibility of Sri Lankan labs and testing facilities.
“The need for institutions to work together, and the possibility of setting up a voluntary export inspection scheme as recommended by Verité, were also given due consideration by the stakeholders.” (Colombo/October 22 2015)