U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade

On Thursday, February 21 NAEGA attended a meeting of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade hosted by the Canadian Embassy in Washington. The Dialogue was pleased to welcome off the record remarks from Canadian Minster of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAuley and the Assistant Deputy Minister Annette Gibbons. During his remarks, Minister MacAuley addressed U.S.-Canada bilateral relations, USMCA passage and Section 232 tariffs. 

IGTC Secretariat in D.C.

Last week, NAEGA hosted IGTC Secretariat Katy Lee at its headquarters in Arlington, VA for a working visit to coordinate on implementation of the IGTC Business Plan. During Katy’s time in DC she worked closely with NAEGA on IGTC policy files and priorities and met with Washington based IGTC corporate stakeholders and members. Accomplishments included:

  • Attendance at the USDA Agriculture Outlook Forum
  • Meetings with Informa Economics on the Precision Biotechnology Database
  • Meetings with IGTC members based in Washington
  • Working meetings with the IGTC President to discuss IGTC strategic priorities

A trip report for Katy’s working visit will be available in the coming days.

Vietnam Actions on Grain and Oilseed Imports

USDA APHIS has advised:

  • Vietnam will require destruction or reexport of U.S. wheat or soybeans in which seeds of Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) are detected in incoming deliveries arriving March 1, 2019 or later. APHIS will implement a Canada thistle sampling protocol during U.S. export phytosanitary inspection for wheat and soybeans after an expected directive is issued by the Federal Grain Inspection Service. Only consignments in which no Canada thistle seed is detected will be eligible for phytosanitary certification for Vietnam
  • FGIS will issue a new directive by Wednesday, February 27, which will describe the procedures for detecting Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) seeds in wheat and soybeans bound for Vietnam. All wheat and soybean consignments with inspection dates on or after the directive date will require seed analysis. APHIS will issue phytosanitary certificates for wheat and soybeans bound for Vietnam inspected on or after the directive date only when accompanied by a completed export phytosanitary inspection report (e.g. FGIS-921-2) indicating freedom from seed of Canada thistle. The FGIS directive is to be posted at:


NAEGA continues pursue measures based on sound science and consistent with international convention that are least trade distortive. We are working to support  work with VN PPD in order to establish a compliance regime to pre-empt the precautionary and yet-to-be-identified-or-justified visual inspection at import and re-export measures upon port arrival of U.S. cargoes in VN.   We are also filing detailed and updated reporting, including discussion actions exporters as well as NAEGA might take.  Reports can be found here.

Contracts and Best Practices Seminars – Your advice requested

The NAEGA Contracts Committee is seeking your advice on the location, timing and curriculum of this year’s Contracts and Best Practices Seminars. Please let us know if you are interested in attending or hosting a seminar, and what topics we should focus on. This year, the committee is considering contract seminars in the following locations:

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba

NAEGA seminars are an intensive and informative review of commercial and official practices taught in an interactive environment. The goal of each seminar is to improve predictability, reduce risks, resolve trade barriers and facilitate profitable trade.

NAEGA conducts both public and private seminars, and curriculum can be tailored to your needs. Please contact Ryan if you are interested in hosting a private, tailored seminar at your office. Click here for more information on the in-depth, interactive programs NAEGA conducts!

Cirsium arvense (CT) – Vietnam actions on grain and oilseed imports USDA APHIS signals intent to enforce Vietnam’s precautionary zero tolerance beginning March 1

We are disappointed to report that USDA APHIS has notified some stakeholders that it considers Vietnam’s zero tolerance for CT seeds to be justified and APHIS will be taking action effective March 1, 2019 not to issue phytosanitary sanitary certifications for consignments of wheat and soybeans from the U.S. if a yet to be defined APHIS regime detects the presence of CT.  Moreover, the APHIS action will not prevent Vietnam from taking any action at import – including continuing to visually inspect consignment shipments upon arrival, and to require reexport if Canadian thistle is detected.  As a result, USDA APHIS and Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department (VN PPD) will be using a zero-tolerance approach to CT in wheat and soybean shipments.

Over two weeks after a bilateral meeting in Vietnam between USDA APHIS and VN PPD ended, we were quite surprised and disappointed to learn that, during the January 23 -24 talks, APHIS acquiesced to the Vietnamese position that, based on what APHIS said were controlled laboratory (greenhouse) experiments conducted by Vietnam,  CT seeds are capable of propagating in Vietnam’s climate. Based upon this outcome and without any evidence of exposure or consideration for management of risk to Vietnam’s agriculture, APHIS has conceded that Vietnam’s zero tolerance for CT seeds is justified and shall result in APHIS action not to issue phytosanitary sanitary certifications for consignments of wheat and soybeans from the U.S. if a yet-to-be-defined APHIS regime detects the presence of Canadian thistle in U.S. export shipments of wheat and soybeans to Vietnam.  USDA APHIS said it had written to Vietnam stating the understanding that the certificate issuance requirement to be imposed by APHIS will apply to vessels loaded on or after March 1, not to shipments en-route on or before that date and has not received a contrary response from Vietnam.    PLEASE NOTE: The agreement codified by the APHIS communication with Vietnam’s Plant Protection Division (VN PPD) does not prevent Vietnam from taking any action at import – including continuing to visually inspect consignment shipments upon arrival, and to require reexport if Canadian thistle is detected. 

A detailed and updated reporting, including discussion actions exporters as well as NAEGA might take can be found here.

2019 MAP Allocation

On Tuesday, February 12 NAEGA received word that its 2019 Unified Export Strategy (UES) application with the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been accepted and NAEGA will receive

funding under the Market Access Program (MAP) in 2019. MAP funding in 2019 for NAEGA will be limited to a $366,652 ceiling, $23,452 more than its 2018 ceiling.

A copy of NAEGA’s 2019 UES application is available here. For more information, please contact Ryan.

Cirsium arvense – Vietnam actions on grain and oilseed imports

Recently, NAEGA and other stakeholders have placed focus on actions by Vietnam related to the presence Cirsium arvense (commonly referred to as Canada Thistle or Creeping Thistle) plant parts in imported grain.  We are investigating several options and input including global outreach and intelligence gathering related to sound science and best commercial and official practice. Communication with U.S. government and stakeholders has been a priority. 

We believe USDA will provide for meeting at 10 AM on Friday Feb. 8 that includes a debrief on the 2nd day of the bilateral between APHIS and VN PPD.   Meanwhile NAEGA is seeking advice from several sources on how address the Veitnam’s actions as well ways to improve the. ability to address non-tariff trade barriers related to measures associated with phytosanitary risk management.    

IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC newsletter is now available! This week’s edition includes an update on the ePhtyo Industry Advisory Group (IAG) meeting last week in Geneva, more information on Japan’s proposed MRL changes, and a report on the IGTC digitization efforts.

A copy of the newsletter can be found here.

Asian Gypsy Moth

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have released a memorandum regarding the import requirements for marine vessels entering North American ports which have called upon areas regulated for Asian gypsy moth. The memorandum states that all vessels must arrive in North American ports free of Asian gypsy moth and with required pre-departure certification in order to prevent seve negative impacts from introduction.

A copy of the memorandum can be found here.

Board of Directors Meeting

On Tuesday, January 29 the NAEGA Board of Directors met at the Miami Beach Edition Hotel in Miami, Florida. During the meeting, the Board reviewed NAEGA finances, heard reports from the Grades and Inspections and Contracts Committee, and discussed the ongoing IGTC transition, and conducted programming and financial planning for 2019. The Board also approved minutes from its March 19, 2018 meeting. Minutes from this meeting will be available soon.