Katy Lee, Secretariat of the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) is working from  Rome, Italy and will participate in meetings of the International Plant Protection Convention’s (IPPC) 14th Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM). The CPM will bring together the 183 contracting parties to the IPPC. During the meeting, the IGTC will focus on sections of the CPM agenda that closely aligns with grain trade priorities, including:

  • The contribution of the global trade of commodities to global food security and economic development.
  • The business plan for the ePhyto Solution post 2019
  • International Year of Plant Health 2020 (IYPH 2020)
  • Next generation sequencing technologies as a diagnostic tool for phytosanitary purposes
  • Adding, deleting or modifying IPPC documents on the following subjects of interest to IGTC members:
    • Terms for consideration by the Technical Panel on the Glossary (TPG);
    • Diagnostic protocols for consideration by the Technical Panel on Diagnostic Protocols (TPDP);
    • Phytosanitary treatments for consideration by the Technical Panel on Phytosanitary Treatments (TPPT)

China trade letter

On Tuesday, March 19 NAEGA joined a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump on retaliatory tariffs from China. Signatories to the letter state that retaliatory tariffs have had a severe negative impact on market access in many agricultural sectors, and failing to lift these tariffs could negate any positive gains resulting from a new trade arrangement with China. Quickly restoring access to the Chinese market for agriculture products is a top priority for America’s farmers, agribusinesses and food manufacturers, as negative impacts will continue to compound the longer our trade relationship with China remains in question.

Egypt Phyto Policy

Yesterday, NAEGA provided preliminary comments to USDA FAS regarding Egypt’s request for comment on their plant quarantine regulations. In the comments, NAEGA encourages the U.S. government to provide a response to Egypt that includes the following perspectives:

The NAEGA and its Members have  been honored to be a consistent, competitive and reliable supplier of high quality, safe and affordable supplies of grains and oilseeds to provide for Egypt’s needs. 

  1. We greatly respect and wish to support the Government of Egypt’s (GofE) role in providing for safe, reliable and affordable supplies of food.
  2. We recognize and support the protection of plant and animal agriculture that is a critical responsibility of the entire supply chain as well as the GofE
  3. We seek any opportunity, including working to address concerns and opportunities related to EGY 90 (attached) in order to continue our successful trade and investment relationship and to work with GofE on efforts to provide for safe and efficient access to supplies of wheat, corn, soybeans and other grains for import.  One way to do that is to establish regular public-private dialogue to address import policy related to plant health concerns.
  4. We know that industry experience and scientific analysis can provide for a consultative partnership that is supportive of the GofE efforts to provide for food security, affordability and the  management of plant health risks by applying sound science and best practices that are all based on and compliant with internationally accepted industry protocols and the International Phytosanitary Measures established by the International Plant Protection Convention.

The NAEGA Grades and Inspections Committee has this and several other national phyto polices under active consideration. In addition to Egypt, measures by China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the U.S. are being addressed.  We welcome comments and input from NAEGA members on all trade concerns.  

Temporary tariff regime for no deal Brexit

The United Kingdom’s Department for International Trade has released details on its temporary tariff regime in case a Brexit deal cannot be reached. During the temporary regime, which would be monitored closely by the UK government, British businesses would not pay customs duties on the majority of goods when importing into the UK. Under the temporary tariff, 87 percent of total imports to the UK by value would be eligible for tariff free access. Tariffs would still apply to the remaining 13 percent of goods, including:

  • a mixture of tariffs and quotas on beef, lamb, pork, poultry and some dairy.
  • Finished vehicles; however, car makers relying on EU supply chains would not face additional tariffs on car parts imported from the EU to prevent disruption to supply chains
  • AD/CVD cases.

A full list of products under the temporary tariff regime can be found here.

Additional comments on Egypt plant quarantine regulations

The Grades and Inspections Committee is taking a closer look at the draft Egypt phyto policy in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and USDA FAS seeking industry comment on notified measures on Egypt’s Plant Quarantine Regulations. The proposed Draft Ministerial Resolution includes an updated list of banned pests (weed, insect, microorganism) and permissible treatment options for certain quarantined pests. The notifications can be found here and here.

New Board of Directors

On Monday, March 18 the NAEGA Membership renewed the terms of four expiring Board Members – John Griffith, Holly Womack, Jason Hofer and Augusto Bassanini. In addition, the Membership approved Gordon Russell as a new Board member representing the Louis Dreyfus Company. These terms were renewed for an additional three-year period expiring in 2022.

Name Company Term Expiration
Steve Smalley Cargill, Inc. March 2020
Gordon Russell Louis Dreyfus Company March 2022
Charles Colbert Zen-Noh Grain Corp. March 2021
Steve Strong Bunge North America March 2020
John Griffith CHS, Inc. March 2022
Wesley Uhlmeyer ADM March 2021
Carsten Bredin Richardson International March 2020
Holly Womack CoBank March 2022
David Smoot Viterra March 2021
Norihisa Tsunoda Mitsui & Co. March 2020
Jason Hofer Gavilon Grain, Inc. March 2022
Kurt Haarmann Columbia Grain, Inc. March 2021
Augusto Bassanini United Grain Corporation March 2022
Kevin LaGraize The Russell Marine Group March 2021


Annual Meetings and Events

Thank you to all who joined us this week in Amelia Island, FL at the NAEGA Annual Meetings! During our time in Amelia Island, NAEGA had a series of successful meetings and events, including meetings of the Contracts, Production Technology and Grades and Inspections Committees and of the Membership and Board of Directors. Minutes will be available for all these meetings in the coming weeks. Please contact NAEGA staff if you have any questions or would like more information.

Egypt Weed Seed Proposal

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is seeking industry comment on notified measures on Egypt’s Plant Quarantine Regulations. The proposed Draft Ministerial Resolution includes an updated list of banned pests (weed, insect, microorganism) and permissible treatment options for certain quarantined pests. The resolution also updates a list of commodities exempted from Import Permit and Phytosanitary Certificates, which include commercial cotton samples, wheat, and processed plant consignments.  The notifications can be found here and here. Comments are due by close of business on March 28.

IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC Newsletter is now available! In this week’s edition you can read a briefing on the IGTCs plant breeding innovation meetings in Brussels, learn about the most recent policy document on MRLs approved by the Management Council, and hear an update on IGTC activities at the IGC MCC meeting in London. Read more here!