BD eases fumigation clause for US cotton

The rule that cotton imported from the United States (US) undergo fumigation has been relaxed.

The decision was made by the Ministry of Commerce in accordance with the Imports and Exports (Control) Act of 1950, and a notification in this respect was just released.

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According to the notice, the US exporting authorities’ sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and boll weevil-free certificates may be presented at the port of entry here after arrival in order to waive the need for fumigation of imported cotton from the US.

According to the Plant Quarantine Rules 2018, which stipulate that any cotton imported to Bangladesh must have an SPS certificate from the relevant authorities of the exporting country, cotton imported from the US needed an additional fumigation at the port of entry here.

In order to prevent any potential negative effects of the notorious insect boll weevil on local crops, the Bangladesh Tariff Commission advised the government in July 2019 not to cease enforcing fumigation regulations.

Concerned officials claim that the boll weevil can fly up to five miles and can survive for 11 months. For products like cotton and okra, it is extremely harmful.

However, in order to save time and money, local cotton importers and spinners have frequently encouraged the relevant authorities to disregard the traditional requirement of performing fumigation here when importing raw cotton from the US.

They have also stated that Bangladesh is the only nation to demand US cotton to be fumigated at the port of entry.

Given that Bangladesh is one of the main cotton importers, US cotton producers are concentrating on the Bangladesh market. They have demanded that Bangladeshi imports of the good be exempt from the requirement for double spraying.

In addition, the US and Bangladesh held numerous high-level meetings where the topic of removing the US cotton’s fumigation prerequisite came up.

Bangladesh sources cotton mainly from Africa, India, CIS countries and the US.

The country annually spends over US$3.5-4.0 billion for importing around 8.0 million bales of cotton. It produces only 0.16 million bales of cotton yearly.


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