India - Prohibits Non-Basmati Rice Export to Ensure Food Security
In a significant move to regulate the export of non-basmati rice, the Government of India, through the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), has issued Notification No. 20/2023. The notification, which comes into immediate effect on 20 July 2023, introduces an amendment to the Export Policy of non-basmati rice under HS Code 1006 30 90.
Under the revised Export Policy, the export of non-basmati white rice (semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed) is now prohibited. Previously, this rice category fell under the 'Free' export policy, allowing unrestricted overseas trade. The amendment aims to better manage the availability and distribution of non-basmati rice in the domestic market and safeguard food security interests.
The decision to prohibit the export of non-basmati rice aligns with the provisions of the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992 (No. 22 of 1992), as amended, and Para 1.02 and 2.01 of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2023.
However, the authorities have made some considerations for consignments that were already in motion or registered before the issuance of the notification. Consignments of non-basmati rice that have already commenced loading onto ships with filed shipping bills on berthed vessels or vessels that arrived and anchored in Indian ports with allocated rotation numbers before the notification's date will be allowed to proceed with the export.
Additionally, consignments that were handed over to customs or entered the customs station for exportation before the notification date and verifiable evidence of the date and time stamping will also be permitted for export until 31 August 2023.
The notification also specifies that the export of organic non-basmati rice will be governed by separate guidelines outlined in Notification No. 03/2015-2020, dated 19 April 2017, along with Notification No. 45/2015-2020, dated 29 November 2022.
The amendment aims to ensure a controlled supply of non-basmati rice within the country, particularly during challenging times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or other food security concerns. The government also intends to meet the food security needs of other countries based on specific requests from their governments.
The decision to prohibit the export of non-basmati rice may have implications on the global rice trade, considering India's significant role as a major rice exporter. However, the government believes that the measure is necessary to maintain sufficient domestic availability and stabilise prices, thereby supporting the food security of its citizens.
The notification represents the government's commitment to adapt trade policies to safeguard national interests and address changing economic and food security dynamics. As the situation evolves, the government will continue to monitor the export policy and make further adjustments to ensure a stable and sustainable rice market within the country.
Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention Department.