Wheat Joins Shark Fins, Antiepileptic Drugs On Export Prohibition List

The wheat export ban which came into effect on May 13, has been done as part of measures to control rising domestic prices.

Workers collect freshly harvested wheat as it arrives in the grain market, in Amritsar. (ANI Photo/ File)

New Delhi: Wheat has now joined other products on India’s list of prohibited items from export. The others on the list include live animals, and products derived from animals, like shark fins, woods and their byproducts, and also some medications. While there are products which can be exported after having conditions met, others are banned outright.

The wheat export ban which came into effect on May 13, has been done as part of measures to control rising domestic prices. This however, is not a lifetime ban, and should be revoked as things look up. The order had cited that the “sudden spike in global prices of wheat arising out of many factors, as a result of which the food security of India, neighbouring and other vulnerable countries is at risk”.

However, the export shipments for which irrevocable letters of credit (LoC) have been issued on or before the date of this notification will be allowed, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

It also clarified that wheat exports will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the Government of India to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of their governments.

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In terms of the Schedule 2 of the export policy, the other products on the banned list of export include birds of prey or also known as raptors. This includes black kite, vulture and eagle, amongst others. Vulture also happens to be a raptor which has seen a drastic decline in its numbers in the country.

In the case of exotic birds, those including parrots, parakeets, macaws, ostriches, emus are prohibited from export. There are only a few exceptions like in the case of Budgerians and Finches (amongst others) which can be exported with a pre-shipment inspection or like in the case of Jawa sparrow – which comes under restricted export – a license is required for export, with a certificate from the Chief Wildlife warden of the concerned state from where exotic birds (Jawa Sparrow) have been procured to the effect that the birds to be exported are from Captive Bred Stock. Exports if allowed should also be subject to pre- shipment inspection and CITES certificate.

Export of meat too features on the list of prohibited items. With the list saying it is not permitted to export boneless meat unless in the case of “boneless meat of buffalo (both male and female) fresh and chilled noneless meat of buffalo (both male and female) frozen”. This comes with conditions, which include a certificate from the designated veterinary authority of the state, from which the meat or offals emanate, to the effect that the meat or offals are from buffaloes not used for breeding and purposes.

India is one of the biggest exporters of buffalo meat, exporting around three billion US dollars’ worth of it in fiscal year 2021.

Most of the list is composed by animal products and by products including lard which includes exports of tallow, fat and/or oils of any animal origin excluding fish oil, buffalo tallow and lanolin as prohibited.

Those completely prohibited from export are shark fins, beche-de-mer or sea cucumber, peacock tail and wing feather (trimmed or not), bones, horn cones and parts thereof, not crushed: of wild animals, and antlers.

In the case of bulbs, horticultural all export is prohibited except on special exemption, which can be granted for the purpose of research, education and lifesaving drugs on case-by-case basis by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Teak Wood comes under the prohibited list with export of wood and wood products in the form of logs, timber, stumps, roots, bark, chips, powder, flakes, dust, and charcoal other than sawn timber made exclusively out of imported logs/timber is not permitted. Then export of Sandalwood De-oiled Spent Dust is restricted. Export permitted under licence subject to conditionalities as may be notified by the DGFT.

The list of prohibited items also includes antiepileptic drugs; sulfa drugs not elsewhere specified or included, preparations of enzymes; veterinary medicinal preparations, not for human use, not elsewhere specified or included; oral rehydration salts; antibacterial formulations not elsewhere specified or included, sedatives and tranquilizers.