Waiver of phytosanitary permit sought

The Directorate General of Systems and Data Management (DGS&DM) , under the Union government’s Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, issued an advisory (No. 06-2021) on 29 January, 2021, making it mandatory for importers to upload phytosanitary import permit (Documentary Code 8520PQ) in e-Sanchit.

Sleek Boards LLP, based in Pune, has submitted a representation to the Joint Director stating that it is a great impediment for importers of engineered panel products like particle boards, MDF, oriented strand boards and plywood, which are produced under heat and pressure and have been known to be free of any plant quarantine restrictions since 2003.

The Ministry of Agriculture in exporting countries following the uniform global norms set by the World Health Organisation are not supporting the request for uploading the mandatory requirement. Importers are facing a huge cost for non-clearance of their import cargo in absence of the phytosanitary certificate.

According to Mr Nitin Vaze, CEO of Sleek Boards, as per uniform code of practices by all importing and exporting countries, the offices in exporting counties are not issuing such certificates – and if they do they are charging a sizeable fee per certificate.

Sleek Boards has brought to the notice of the DGS&DM that it is also agreed by the Government of India to exempt the products falling under Chapter 4410, 4411 and 4412 by order called the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order, 2003- Requirement of Import of Wood and Timber.

The Ministry of Agriculture also passed another order, called the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Third Amendment Order, 2004 (published in the Gazette of India on 31 May, 2004) reaffirming that even for packing material wholly made of processed wood products such as plywood, particle boards, oriented strand boards or veneer that have been created using glue, heat and pressure or combination thereof. In short, products falling under HS Codes 4410, 4411 and 4412.

In light of the government’s initiatives to encourage ease of doing business

Sleek Boards has requested the Joint Director, DGS&DM, to remove the items exempted by the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order, 2003, from the requirement of phytosanitary import permit for items falling under 4410, 4411 and 4412 soonest, to save trouble and costs to importers.

Till the release of the January 2021 advisory, all these products were exempt from phytosanitary certification, and were freely imported, unobstructed by the Customs Department.

Sleek Boards has also appealed to all trade associations and importers to take up this matter for early relief to importers on uploading such documents, which exporting counties are reluctant to provide. For more information, you may write to sleekboards@gmail.com.

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