Post-Marketing Monitoring Plan for GMOs

The European Commission, EU biotech providers and the grain trade industry agreed on October 25 to wording related to post market monitoring (PMM) for genetically modified organisms with enhanced nutritional characteristics. The aim of the PMM was to come up with a commonly agreed language for plans to secure harmonized reporting modalities and proper allocation of responsibilities throughout the supply chain for GMO events with enhanced nutritional characteristics. According to the new language, technology providers must cooperate with third parties such as farmers, crushers and exporters to provide information on the quantities of GM events imported into the European Union that will be crushed and used as food.

A copy of the PMM language can be found here. A letter from COCERAL to EuropaBio regarding the agreement on language in the PMM can be found here.

IGC MCC Trip Report

To accomplish NAEGA UES objectives related to the International Grain Trade Coalition’s (IGTC) continued outreach and coordination with the International Grains Council (IGC), Katy Lee, Acting Secretariat of the IGTC, traveled to London, UK on September 8-9 to attend and present before a meeting of the IGC’s Market Conditions Committee (MCC). A copy of the trip report for this mission is now available. In London, Katy attended a meeting of the IGC MCC and presented before the committee on Current Developments in Policy and Trade Practice, during which she educated MCC members on IGTC policy files and objectives.

A copy of the trip report can be found here. For more information please contact Katy at or Gary in this regard.

IMO CCC Trip Report

To accomplish the NAEGA UES objectives of continued engagement and monitoring of international efforts related to the regulation of the bulk grain trade by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), NAEGA Senior Advisor Jerry Cotter traveled to London, UK on August 30-September 10 to attend a meeting of the IMO’s Subcommittee on the Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC). A trip report for this travel is now available. During this mission Jerry accomplished multiple goals, including:

  • Attendance and NAEGA representation at the Dry Bulk Terminals Group (DBTG) Executive Committee meeting. NAEGA is a member of the DBTG and Jerry sits on the committee as the NAEGA representative.
  • Attendance and NAEGA representation at the IMO CCC’s Subcommittee meeting.
  • Briefing for Katy Lee, Acting Secretariat of the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) on IMO issues.

A copy of the trip report can be found here. For more information, please contact Gary or Ryan.

USDA APHIS Grain Commodity Sector Meeting

NAEGA and NGFA concerns were central to most of the discussion at 4th Grain Sector Stakeholder meeting with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) leadership.  The importance of deploying the most trade supportive measures as part of regulatory implementation, including incorporating new and innovative practices like those provided for in the regulatory coherence and rapid response provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiated text was emphasized by NAEGA.  We were able to build upon excellent collaboration with top officials of this key USDA agency on electronic phyto certificates; developing SOPs on protocols and exit strategies when the agency becomes aware of biotech wheat plant material propagating after field trials (as has occurred in Oregon, Montana and most recently Washington state); the importance of the U.S. government getting buy-in from its international counterparts on appropriate premarket regulatory review of plant breeding innovation including transgenic/GMO events; and resolving current sanitary/phytosanitary trade-related issues including those with Mexico, Vietnam, China, Korea, India, and Russia.

USTR National Trade Estimates – Comments

On October 27, 2016 NAEGA, along with the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) and the American Soybean Association (ASA), submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for the annual National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE). The NAEGA-NOPA-ASA comments highlight Argentina’s continued use of differential export taxes (DET) for soybeans and soybean products. As have been noted in previous NTE reports, Argentina’s export tax for soybeans is generally set at a higher rate than the sale price of the product, a policy that encourages domestic value-added production and discourages imports. This year’s comments to USTR highlight the continued use by Argentina of DETs and a 2013 U.S. Soybean Export Council commissioned report that highlights a $428 million benefit to U.S. industry to an end of Argentina’s DET policy for soybeans. The comments request that this year’s NTE conduct a comparative analysis of the barrier’s effect on a range of industries and conclude that immediate action must be taken by Argentina to eliminate its DETs.

A copy of the NAEGA-NOPA-ASA comments on the NTE can be found here. Please contact Gary or Ryan if you have any additional questions.

Vietnam Fumigation Requirements

NAEGA continues to work closely with industry and government stakeholders, including the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), the Grain Inspectors, Packers ad Stockyards Association (GIPSA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regarding new requirements by Vietnam for per-shipment fumigation with methyl bromide on shipments of wheat, corn and DDGS to Vietnam. Currently, the December 1 deadline for pre-shipment fumigation of corn, wheat and DDGS with methyl bromide stands. However, APHIS continues to pursue a strategy of that supports phosphine fumigation in all cases, with increased measures to protect against pest infiltration during transport and storage. For DDGS, APHIS has proposed in an October 26, 2016 letter a pilot program for phosphine fumigation that would allow for the importation of DDGS beyond the December 17, 2016 suspension date. The pilot program would include increased inspections, requirements for longer fumigation period and the use of best practices for the fumigation of containers.  APHIS proposes the following timeline for the pilot program:

November 1-15 APHIS field team to Illinois DDG operations for fact finding


Vietnam provides report on pest detection in U.S. bulk grain

November 18 APHIS presents proposed requirements to U.S. industry
November 21 APHIS presents detailed action timeline to Vietnam, including modified phosphine treatment measures, safeguarding and update on the development of best management practices for DDG warehousing
December 17 First certification of DDG under modified phosphine treatment measures.
February 1 First container arrivals
April 1 Preliminary evaluation by PPD of effectiveness of modified measures shared with APHIS. If piloted fumigation is successful, no further changes necessary. If not, further action to be determined bilaterally.

For wheat and corn, APHIS is currently awaiting a full report from Vietnam PPD on pest detections for those commodities. APHIS expects this report no later than November 15, 2016.

Another conference call is expected in the coming days.

NAEGA will continue to follow these developments closely and inform members as new information become available. Please contact Gary or Ryan if you have any questions.

AQSIQ and APHIS Elevator Tour

NAEGA would like to thank TEMCO of Tacoma, Washington for their willingness to host a delegation of visiting personnel from the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) for an elevator tour on October 21, 2016. While the Chinese delegation was unable to join the facility tour, APHIS was able to attend and learn more about grain handling, storage and loading operations.

For more information on the October 21 planned APHIS and AQSIQ tour in Tacoma please contact Gary.

Contracts Committee Meeting

On October 19, the NAEGA Contracts Committee held a meeting in Portland, Oregon to discuss ongoing committee business and proposed changes to the NAEGA No. 2 Model Contract. During the meeting the committee, for the first time, welcomed a new Committee Apprentice. The committee also heard reports from the Clause 7 and Clause 20 subcommittees and began a clause by clause review of the NAEGA contract to consider proposed changes. The Committee agreed on regular calls to consider proposed changes to the NAEGA No. 2 Contract, the first of which will occur Wednesday, November 2 at 4:00pm Eastern time. These regular calls will attempt to reconcile proposed changes that have been suggested to the committee by both NAEGA members and the Clause 7 and 20 Subcommittees, with a preliminary goal of updating the contract in 2017.

A copy of the committee’s minutes will be available soon. For more information on the committee meeting or changes to the NAEGA No. 2 Contract, please contact Gary or Ryan.

Board of Directors Meeting

NAEGA’s Board of Directors met on Wednesday, October 17 in Portland, OR to discuss ongoing business, budget revisions, reports from staff, Committees and long-time legal counsel Marc Fleischaker.

The Board determined that NAEGA Dues and Fees will be unchanged for 2017.  Members and Associates will be invoiced in early January so that a final 2017 budget can be approved at the upcoming March 20 NAEGA meetings in New Orleans.

Marc reported on his extensive work on our behalf of NAEGA and made us aware he will be transitioning his practice, resulting in a need for NAEGA to revise its approach to legal services.  Please join the NAEGA Board and Staff in thanking Marc for his service and dedication to our interests!

The Board also approved the meeting minutes of the March 14 Board of Directors meeting in Coronado, CA, updated the NAEGA Directory, and approved NAEGA operating policies and procedures.  Considerable advice was provided to staff regarding NAEGA international programs including recommendations for changes to the International Grain Trade Coalition business plan.  Coronado minutes, including draft members meeting minutes’ subject to approval at the next meeting of Members, can be found here. A copy of the most recent directory can be found here, please let us know of any needed changes! NAEGA operating policies and procedures, including procurement, fraud prevention, senior advisor operating protocols, document retention and destruction, whistleblower and antitrust, can be found here. Gary will be presenting a revised IGTC Business Plan at next week’s IGTC meetings in Geneva, Switzerland.

A copy of the minutes and a further report on actions from the October 17 meeting will be available soon.

NAEGA-NGFA-PNWGFA Industry Workshop

On October 18, NAEGA, NGFA and the Pacific Northwest Grain and Feed Association (PNWGFA) held Pacific Northwest Industry Workshop at the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, OR. During the workshop participants heard reports from U.S. government agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS). Larry Mitchell, Administrator of the Grain Inspectors, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), Randal Jones, Deputy Administrator of GIPSA and staff attended to provide an update on regional developments related to GIPSA, including implementation of the USGSA and the new policy bulletin on midstream transportation of FGIS employees. APHIS personnel also provided an update and overview of its Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking System (PCIT) database.

A copy of the agenda for the industry workshop can be found here. For more information please contact Ryan or Gary.