Tea exports to Russia : Costly fumigation exercise done away with | Sunday Observer

Tea exports to Russia : Costly fumigation exercise done away with

6 October, 2019

Since December 2017 due to the alleged detection of a ‘Kappra Beetle’ in the outer packaging of a container of Ceylon Tea to Russia, the two nations took a mutual decision to fumigate every empty container prior to stuffing of tea from Sri Lanka for shipment to the Russian Federation.

This mandatory requirement was strictly enforced by the Plant Quarantine Division of the Ministry of Agriculture in Sri Lanka for almost two years.

This was a costly exercise and time consuming (minimum 72 hours of quarantine necessary prior releasing the empty container for stuffing) for the export trade in Sri Lanka, a major handicap for Ceylon Tea in a highly competitive Russian market dominated by local Russian brands.

A few experts from Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Moscow concluded a strategic meeting with a team of officials from Federal Services for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of the Ministry of Agriculture in the Russian Federation on the sidelines of the recent global campaign launch for Ceylon Tea.

A consensus was reached where the mandatory requirement of fumigating empty containers in Sri Lanka prior to stuffing tea for shipment to the Russian Federation was no longer necessary. This decision was taken as not a single ‘Khappra Beetle’ or such traces were found after the fumigation process was undertaken.

The Federal Services for Veterinary & Phytosanitary Surveillance was due to issue a circular to the Russian Customs and other authorities to implement the agreed decision from October 1.

The hard work of the Tea Promotion Division of the Sri Lanka Tea Board helped to do away with the costly exercise and will be a boost for exporters of Ceylon Tea to the Russian Federation, a spokesman for the Board said.