Indian shrimp among most banned imports

Marine products, especially shrimps, are among the most restricted items of import from India, according to data released by the ministry of commerce and industry today.

Four of India’s major export markets — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Canada and Australia — have restrictions on shrimp import from India, according to the ministry.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also have restrictions on importing fish from India “due to unclear health situation” of “cultured fish” originating from India.

The two countries have also imposed restrictions on shrimps due to the “emergence of epidemic diseases” affecting them, including White Spot Syndrome Virus Disease. The ban by Kuwait is temporary in nature, the government said.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are among the biggest importers of Indian agricultural products in the world.

Exports of marine and horticultural products are one of the ways India uses to balance out its heavy dependence on imported oil. Still, India exports only about $300 billion worth of goods every year, while importing $400-450 billion, creating a trade deficit.

Besides the Middle Eastern countries, Canada too has imposed restrictions on certain types of shrimp as India and Canada have not agreed on a provision for setting up sanitary certificate for such exports.

Australia also has restrictions on the import of Indian prawn and shrimp imposed in the wake of a report known as ‘Import Risk Analysis’ for prawns and prawn products.

In addition, three other products from India are also subject to restrictions in various importing countries.

These are poultry in the UAE, vegetables and fruits from Kerala in Saudi Arabia and chilli in Mexico.

Mexico imposed the restriction after detecting larvae of Trogoderma in exports. Trogoderma is a widespread pest that can cause havoc for farmers.

Saudi imposed restrictions on the import of fruits and vegetables from Kerala due to the outbreak of Nipah virus last year, while the UAE imposed prohibition on poultry products from India in the wake of avian flu outbreaks in the country.