Meeting with EU Soy Importers

At the request of the U.S. Soybean Export Council, NAEGA President Gary Martin met with an industry team from Europe concerned with soybean imports.  USSEC invited the group to examine the “sustainable” U.S. soybean supply chain and how the USSEC sustainability certification works.

The group, comprised of decision makers and thought leaders in procurement of feed ingredients, is primarily concerned with the competitiveness of EU livestock production in light of consumer and regulatory demands related to sustainability as well as GMO content. After discussing efforts in the UK and EU level related to soy assurance schemes including the FEFAC soy benchmark program, the dialogue at the meeting included an exchange of perspectives on sustainability issues, pesticides i.e. glyphosate and paraquat, and plant breeding innovations including GMO.  The US election, the TTIP and BREXIT were also the subject of comments and consideration.

Ultimately, and with the anticipation increased regulatory requirements including new sustainability mandates for food products, the group requested increased NAEGA member as well as association collaboration and effort to assist in meeting the consumer and regulatory challenges to the EU animal feed industry.

EU Biotech Approvals

The European Commission last week approved 11 varieties of genetically modified corn for use in food and feed following member states failure to make a decision on the approvals. The authorization covers Syngenta product Bt11 x MIR162 x MIR604 x GA21 and 10 related types of GM maize. They include:

4 related GM maize combining three different single GM events:

  • Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604
  • Bt11 × MIR162 × GA21
  • Bt11 × MIR604 × GA21
  • MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21

6 related GM maize combining two different single GM events:

  • Bt11 × MIR162,
  • Bt11 × MIR604,
  • Bt11 × GA21,
  • MIR162 × MIR604,
  • MIR162 × GA21
  • MIR604 x GA21

Canada GMO LLP Policy Released

Last week the Government of Canada released for the first time its model Low Level Presence (LLP) policy LLP policy. The new model policy contains a model threshold of 3 percent for the presence of GE material in imports of grain. This threshold is in line with a Canada Grains Council led international marketing threshold study which was aimed at using numerous examples of grain related standards should form a reference point for regulators as they consider an appropriate threshold level for an LLP policy. According to the study, the majority of the standards referenced fall in the 2-6% range, reinforcing arguments that it is necessary to have a threshold in that range to be meaningful to trade.

A copy of the model policy can be found here. A copy of the CGC threshold study can be found here.

Meeting with Vietnam PPD and Grain Importers

On Monday, September 19 NAEGA hosted a group of Vietnamese grain importers and plant quarantine officials. The 13-person team was concerned with managing insects in imports of DDGS, wheat and corn from the United States. Vietnam is taking measures to prevent two insects that are prohibited in imports – Trogoderma Inclusum, LeConte which is often called the larger cabinet beetle and referred to as TI and Trogoderma Varibile often reffered to as TV.  As a result Vietnam has for some time required fumigation of DDGS prior to export and beginning September 25 will also begin to require fumigation of wheat and corn.

The Vietnamese team, sponsored by U.S. Grains Council is seeking cooperation in the U.S. They reported that the Vietnamese Plant Protection Department (PPD) is concerned that fumigation in the US is may not be sufficient and that they would like to avoid the added costs of fumigation at origin as well as destination and from potential shipment rejection.  NAEGA agreed to consult with its members and revert to US Grains Council regarding potential cooperation to assist.

Meanwhile, on August 15 the Vietnamese Plant Protection Department (PPD) informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) of changes to its articles of Law on Plant Protection and Quarantine. The articles amend the current rules on plant epidemics and the temporary suspension of imports and exports. The USDA is seeking comments on this notification by September 30. A copy of the articles can be found here.

Member advice and questions related to Vietnam’s import requirement are appreciated.


Several grain industry personnel along NAEGA and IGTC are participating in the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) Team ongoing input into the International Plant Protection Convention’s Development of an on International Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measure for Grain (ISPM).  The IPPC Expert Working Group (EWG) is meeting in Melbourne, Australia and expects complete a draft standard by Friday. Marcel Bruins, NAEGA Science Adviser, represents NAEGA and the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) as an Industry Advisor to the EWG.  The  IGTC Team is communicating daily with Marcel and other EWG Industry Advisors.  Conference calls for the team with the industry personnel in Melbourne are planned for 8 am US Eastern time on Oct 22 and23 (this Thursday and Friday).  If you are a colleague would like to join the IGTC ISPM team, please contact Gary.  More information on this IGTC priority policy and advocacy can be found here.

Viterra Contracts Seminar

On September 14 and 15 NAEGA Senior Adviser Sam Bonilla and NAEGA Director of Operations Ryan Olson travelled to Regina, SK, Canada to put on a NAEGA Contracts and Best Practices Seminar for 41 Viterra employees. NAEGA contract seminars are innovative opportunities to learn more about best commercial and contract practices in the grain trade and review the in-depth the NAEGA no. 2 Model Contract.

For more information on NAEGA Contract and Best Practices Seminars, please contact Gary or Ryan.

Vietnam Plant Protection WTO Notification

On August 15 the Vietnamese Plant Protection Department (PPD) informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) of changes to its articles of Law on Plant Protection and Quarantine. The articles amend the current rules on plant epidemics and the temporary suspension of imports and exports. The USDA is seeking comments on this notification by September 30. A copy of the articles can be found here. If you would like to contribute to comments to the USDA on this proposed rules, please contact Gary or Ryan.

Cuba Testimony to House Ag Committee

On Wednesday, September 14 Matt Gibson, Vice President and General Manager of Bunge North America’s Grain Unit testified on behalf of NAEGA before the House Committee on Agriculture regarding American agricultural trade with Cuba. During his testimony Mr. Gibson emphasized the value to both U.S. exporters and Cuban consumer of increased agricultural trade with the island and highlighted continuing obstacles faced by grain exporters doing business with Cuba. Mr. Gibson was joined by five other witnesses during the hearing, including NAEGA member CoBank.

Chairman Conaway’s opening statement, the official press release, and the archived recording of the hearing are all available on event page of the Committee on Agriculture’s website. A copy of Mr. Gibson’s testimony can be found here. For more information on the hearing or to learn more about NAEGA efforts to promote increased trade with Cuba through the U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba (USACC), please contact Gary or Ryan.

IGC MCC Meeting – September 8-10

Katy Lee, Acting Secretariat of the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) traveled to London, UK to attend and present at the International Grain Council’s (IGC) Market Conditions Committee (MCC) meeting on September 9. Presenting on behalf of the IGTC as an official “observer,” Katy gave a briefing to government representatives and stakeholders under the agenda item "Current Developments in Policy and Trade Practice." During the briefing particular emphasis was placed on two priority upcoming meetings for the IGTC, including:

  1. IPPC Expert Working Group (EWG) on a new International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) on grain, 19-24 September, Melbourne.
  2. Conference of the Parties (COP) and meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Cartagena and Nagoya Protocols, 4-17 December, Cancún, Mexico.

More information about the IGTC’s presentation at the MCC can be found on the IGTC intranet at A trip report will soon be available for this MAP travel.

New CBP Trade Facilitation Webpage

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has launched a new Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement web page as a means to provide the trade community with information on implementation of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. The website includes updates on forced labor, anti-dumping countervailing duties, the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and other issues that require implementation under the act.

For more information, and to visit the website, please click here.