Bangladesh to continue fumigation checks on imported US cotton

Bangladesh to continue fumigation checks on imported US cotton

Bangladesh

Bangladesh sticks to its decision to continue the fumigation requirement for cotton imported from the USA despite opposition from local spinners.

Bangladesh sticks to its decision to continue the fumigation requirement for cotton imported from the USA despite opposition from local spinners.

The government upheld its decision in the new import policy for the period of 2021 to 2024. Local spinners and cotton importers have repeatedly urged the government to withdraw the ‘age-old provision’ of conducting fumigation in importing raw cotton from the US to save time and money.

Bangladesh imports cotton from a number of countries, including South Africa, India, Brazil and the US, to meet the huge demand for raw materials for its local market and export-oriented ready-made garment sector, industry people said.

But, in Bangladesh, only the US cotton is subject to fumigation, a process of eliminating specific cotton germ ‘boll weevil’, they said. Even a consignment, having cotton imported from other countries, is subject to fumigation, if it has the US cotton.

They noted that the fumigation rule was enacted in the late 1960s. It is not applicable now for Bangladesh, as the country meets the huge demand for cotton mainly through imports.

The fumigation procedure puts the burden of additional cost on local importers.

Besides, it consumes much time, and thus ultimately hampers the total export process, said Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) President Mohammad Ali Khokon.

The fumigation process and clearance need five days or more to complete. It causes congestion at Chattogram port and also adds 3.0-4.0 cents in cost per bale which affects the country’s business competitiveness, he noted.

When asked, Mohammad Ayub, president of Bangladesh Cotton Association, echoed the BTMA leader.

About 9.0 per cent of the country’s total cotton requirement is met by importing from the US, he said adding the share could be increased up to 20 per cent if there is no such fumigation requirement.

Even US authorities have agreed to issue a certificate mentioning that the cotton is boll weevil free, he said.

The country annually spends US$ 3.5 to $4.0 billion in importing around 8.0 million bales of cotton.

It imports cotton mainly from African countries, India, Australia and the USA while Brazil was added to the importing country list in recent years, according to BTMA.

Bangladesh annually produces only 0.16 million bales of cotton.

Source: The Financial Express

Image Source: Google Images

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