Fruitnet John Hay

2 March 2021

Indian market is “technically closed” to US apples following new requirement for non-GMO certificate with each consignment

US apples have effectively lost access to the Indian market after new import regulations requiring certain fruit and vegetable imports to be certified as non-GMO went into effect yesterday.

The law, which came into force on 1 March following a three-month postponement, means that a selection of fresh produce imports to India – including apples, melons, plums, peppers, and tomatoes – must now carry proof they have not been genetically modified.

Under the new law enacted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), every consignment of the listed products (24 in total) must carry ‘a non-GM origin cum GM-free certificate’ issued by an authorised national or regional government authority. The law applies to imports of apples and all of the other listed products that are shipped on, or after, 1 March.

While a number of key apple-supplying nations have reached arrangements with their relevant phytosanitary authorities to provide non-GMO documentation, the US Department of Agriculture is not issuing certificates.

“As of today, the Indian market is technically closed unless the non-GMO certificate is supplied for each shipment,” Mark Powers, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, told Fruitnet. “At present, the national authority, the US Department of Agriculture, does not and is not issuing such certificates…it is not clear that it ever will.”

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