Exporters to face turbulent times

Kathmandu, August 31:

Exporters, who have been exporting wood-made goods to US market since long, are going to face difficult times from September 16 due to a new provision by the US for wood packaging material treatment.

Experts and exporters at a programme held by Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) expressed concerns over implementation of International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM). Under the ISPM, there are numerous directives and suggestions for the adoption of WTO member countries as to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS). As per the clause of No 15 of ISPM, guidelines for regulating wood packaging material in international trade states “while exporting wood packaged goods, there is the possibility of transmitting diseases in the importing countries for which guidelines are required to control.”

Rajesh Kaji Shrestha, president of NCC, speaking at an interaction ‘Exporting to USA: Need of Wood Packaging Material Treatment’, said that at a time when the export to US is getting decreased, this kind of new provision would create further difficulties. “Therefore, we need to be prepared in time to cope with such challenges,” he added. Dr Krishna Bahadur Shrestha, joint secretary at the ministry of agriculture and cooperatives said that wood treatment has been a necessity, as per WTO under ISPM, in the days ahead for which industrial sector has to be prepared. “They are encouraged to take certificate while exporting such goods to the US,” he said.

Dr Dev Bhakta Shakya, executive director of Agro Enterprise Centre (AEC) said that many countries have already imposed ISPM. “We can adopt alternative methods to send goods to US if the existing mechanism is difficult,” Dr Shakya suggested.

Raju Shrestha, president of Export Council of Nepal (ECON), said, “if we could develop international standard quality certification mechanisms, it would benefit all our exporters and producers in a changed competitive environment.” Nabin Chand Taradevi Shrestha, acting programme chief of National Plant Quarantine Programme under the Agriculture Development Department presented a paper on international directives related to wood packaging while exporting to the US.