India has reinstated a reduced-rate tariff on imports of lentils from Canada as well as from all lentil-exporting nations other than the United States.
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers on Friday reported receiving a Sept. 17 notification of amendment from India’s finance ministry regarding customs tariffs on lentils, which in Canada’s case had snapped back to 33 per cent effective Sept. 1.
The national pulse sector group, Pulse Canada, “continues to work with the government of Canada to receive clarification regarding the applicability” of the Sept. 17 amendment, SPG said.
However, SPG added, the federal government’s “current understanding” is that the amendment again reduces the tariff charged on Canadian lentils to be imported into India between Sept. 18 and Oct. 31 this year, to the same rates that had applied between June 2 and Aug. 31.
If Ottawa’s understanding holds, lentils imported “from all origins” except the U.S. are now again being charged a tariff of 11 per cent — a 10 per cent basic customs duty, to which a 10 per cent surcharge is applied.
Imports of lentils of U.S. origin, meanwhile, are charged a 33 per cent tariff — a 30 per cent basic customs duty, also subject to a 10 per cent surcharge.
Absent any further extension, lentils originating from Canada and all other non-U.S. points will again be charged a 33 per cent tariff after Oct. 31, and U.S. lentils after that date will face a 55 per cent tariff, SPG said.
The amendment as posted online Sept. 17 by India’s Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs also states those higher tariff rates were in effect for for the Sept. 1-17 period.
Pulse Canada will provide more information when “specific details” of India’s policy are confirmed, SPG said Friday.
India’s finance ministry had imposed higher tariffs on lentils in late 2017. Cheap imports were “likely to adversely affect the interest of the farmers” following a productive growing season, the government said at the time.
However, food prices began to spike in India this year, more so as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and observers have said India needed to dial back its tariffs to reduce inflation — particularly on pulses, a staple protein source. — Glacier FarmMedia Network