Indonesia requirement for heat treatment of Wheat re: Tilletia tritici, laevis, indica in the wheat imports

We have been consulting with Ukraine and Russian colleagues regarding reported new Indonesian requirement for heat treating wheat before export. Reports are that Indonesian authorities are, effective January 1, 2019 requiring that wheat from both origins needs to be subjected to heat of 70 – 80°C for 10 to 20 minutes prior to export. The Indonesian phytosanitary authority explains the heat treatment is required to control found fungis in the form of Tilletia tritici, laevis, indica in the wheat. Given that Tilletia spores are found in crops throughout the world and heat treatment before export is an impractical, inappropriate and unnecessary trade distortive measure, we are supporting efforts to eliminate the new requirement and proposing alternative risk management steps. Please contact us if you would like more information or have advice for NAEGA action.

Thailand DDGs Fumigation Requirements

NAEGA has been notified by USDA APHIS of new import requirements for U.S. distillers dried grains entering Thailand beginning January 1, 2019. Beginning on January 1, the Thai Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) will require all U.S. distillers dried grains (DDG) to be fumigated with methyl bromide prior to shipment to Thailand.  APHIS will require that treatment be specified on the Federal Grain Inspection Service Insects in Grain Report 921-2 as a requirement for issuance of an export phytosanitary certificate from January 1, 2019 forward.

The MOA requirement is as follows:

From 1 January 2019, the DDGs consignments have to be fumigated with methyl bromide at 80 g/m for 48 hours at 21 °C and above at NAP ( Normal Atmospheric Pressure). The treatment schedule has to be indicated on Phytosanitary Certificate. Methyl bromide treatment certificate is required.

APHIS further indicated it will engage Thailand’s MOA officials to:

  • Replace the required methyl bromide with phosphine.
  • Provide for a wider treatment temperature range better approximating the labeled requirements.
  • Provide for clarity on whether the treatment certificate will be needed if the required information is provided on the phytosanitary certificate.

NAEGA, working with the Grades and Inspections Committee, is making suggestions for changes to the practices of both governments and communicating worldwide to encourage best and least trade distortive practices be deployed to manage Sanitary and Phytosanitary risks for international movement of grains and oilseeds. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments.

Vietnam actions on Canada Thistle in Soybeans, Wheat and Corn imports

NAEGA continues to monitor developments related the Vietnam Plant Protection Department’s (PPD) plans to implement a re-export requirement on U.S. shipments of soybeans, corn and wheat. Currently, PPD is suspending its January 1, 2019 re-export requirement until a scheduled meeting on January 14, 2019 with USDA APHIS. In light of the U.S. Government shutdown, NAEGA is monitoring this development closely and trying to confirm that the January 14 meeting will still take place.

Annual Member Calls

Thank you to all of our members for your help and contributions in 2018! As we prepare for 2019, we are seeking your input and advice. In the coming days we will be reaching out to each member representative to set up time for a call to discuss NAEGA priorities and programming for the 2019 year, and to seek your input and ideas for how we can best serve you.

Please keep an eye out for an email from us requesting your time for a brief call.

U.S.-U.K. Trade Negotiation Comments

The U.S. International Trade Commission is seeking public comments on the probably economic effect of providing duty free treatment for currently dutiable imports under a proposed U.S.-U.K. Trade Agreement.

The U.S. Trade Representative, under authority delegated by the President, has requested that the Commission provide a report containing its advice as to the probable economic effect of providing duty-free treatment for imports of currently dutiable products from the UK on (i) industries in the United States producing like or directly competitive products, and (ii) consumers.

In addition, the USTR requested that the Commission prepare an assessment of the probable economic effects of eliminating tariffs on imports from the UK of those agricultural products described in the list attached to the USTR’s request letter on (i) industries in the United States producing the products concerned, and (ii) the U.S. economy as a whole.

The following deadlines apply for this request:

January 10, 2019: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing.

January 14, 2019: Deadline for filing prehearing briefs and statements.

January 31, 2019: Public hearing.

February 11, 2019: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and submissions.

February 11, 2019: Deadline for filing all other written statements.

May 8, 2019: Transmittal of Commission report to the USTR.

A public hearing in connection with this investigation will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on January 31, 2019.

AMS Fee Reduction

Effective January 1, 2019, the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) reduced inspection and weighing service fees by five percent since FGIS’ operating reserve exceeds 4 ½ months of operating expenses.  FGIS also reviewed tonnage fees and the tonnage fees were adjusted to reflect fiscal year 2018 costs and a five-year average of export tons.  The national tonnage fee is the national program administrative costs for the previous fiscal year divided by the avg. yearly million metric tons (mmt) of exported grain.  For 2019, FGIS is reporting that the National Tonnage fee has increased by $.05, or is 8% higher than 2018.  In comparison, the base fee decreased by almost 10% in 2018. As a result of the national tonnage fee increase, the local New Orleans tonnage fee will increase by $.001 for 2019. The League City fees will increase by $.013, the Toledo local tonnage fees will decrease by $.005, and the Portland local fee will decrease by $.003.

USJTA Negotiating Objectives

On Friday, December 22 the U.S. Trade Representative released its negotiating objectives for the upcoming U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement talks. The negotiating objectives are mandated by Congress under the Trade Promotion Authority legislation and kick off a 30 day countdown before formal negotiations can begin. The objectives call for “secure comprehensive market access for U.S. agricultural goods in Japan by reducing or eliminating tariffs” and for the reduction of non-tariff barriers that discriminate against U.S. products.

A copy of the objectives can be found here.