The Govt gives instructions for testing rice export samples to see violations of curbs.
Customs inspectors will collect samples of rice headed for export as part of the center’s efforts to prevent any infringement of the export restrictions established by the government. On Thursday, the Commissioner of Customs in Chennai issued a circular outlining the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the collection of rice samples from export shipments.
The decision was made after field officers complained of difficulty in checking shipments prior to their clearance. It also comes after some shipments allegedly violated limitations by identifying themselves as parboiled rice.
At least 50 consignments of white rice disguised as parboiled rice have entered Chennai and other ports, according to information gathered from sources.
The circular stated, ‘In order to expedite customs clearance, it has been decided to implement a sampling and testing procedure for rice samples in order to determine their correct description and HS code.’
Upon receipt of the original test report and after checking its validity, the shed officer shall ensure that the test report is posted in E sanchit and that the specifics of the test report are included in the Departmental Comments section of the corresponding shipping bill. The commissioner stated, ‘Based on the test report, the examination report and let export order (LEO) may be submitted and issued on the same day.’
He has also requested that two sets of random samples be taken from 10% of all packages declared on the shipping bill and brought in for registration.
A quality control checkup
On September 8, the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade prohibited the shipment of cracked rice beginning September 9 but allowed consignments to be exported under certain conditions between September 9 and 15. Recently, the deadline has been extended to September 30. The transitional relaxation will be extended until October 15, according to a statement released by the Food Ministry on Thursday.
On the same day, the Centre slapped a 20% export levy on all rice varieties, excluding basmati and parboiled rice, effective September 9th.
Without a minimum export price (MEP), non-basmati rice can be exported as basmati rice and raw rice as parboiled rice, according to numerous experts. ‘It is evident from the Customs’ most recent circular that they have discovered shipments at ports with the purpose of cheating,’ said an expert, who urged the government to meet with all relevant parties and release all necessary guidelines simultaneously.
‘The Customs move would undoubtedly close procedural loopholes formerly exploited by fly-by-night businesses. S Chandrasekharan, a trade expert, stated that the current method will serve as a test case for customs and export promotion institutions following the announcement of the new National Logistics Policy.’
The ‘changing situation,’ according to him, necessitates quality control mechanisms in addition to quality assurance.