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    EDB calls for full Lankan exporter registration Featured

    September 19, 2014

    Sri Lanka’s apex export entity has issued a clarion call on Sept.16, to the country’s exporter community to register with it and enlist in its surging database. “Some non-registered exporters, unaware of procedures have brought a bad reputation for Sri Lanka. It is time all Lankan exporters register with EDB” voiced a Sujatha Weerakoone (DG-EDB) in Colombo.

    DG Weerakoone was addressing “How to Export Quality Fruit & Vegetable to the EU Region” session held at EDB on. Recently, the European Commission Director General of Health and Consumers has informed the national Plant Quarantine Services of Sri Lanka that some consignments of fresh fruits and vegetables (only) exported to EU and Switzerland were contaminated with pests, detecting that of 350 fresh fruits and vegetables (only) consignments that entered EU from 2011 to date, 292 were contaminated with pests. As a result, the EDB, with the assistance of the National Plant Quarantine Service, Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce organized an awareness programme on “How to Export Quality Fruit & Vegetable to the EU Region” with the participation of more than 50 such Lankan exporters.


    Among the reps present at the session were from Aitken Spence Exports, Jagro, Eastern and Allied Agencies, Aloy Expo Ltd, Nidro Supply Ltd, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, CR Exports, Ellawala Horticulture, Kingsfood, and even HNB. Reps from Plant Quarantine Station (Sea Port, Colombo), the Department of Commerce also made detailed presentations joined by Darshana Perera (Deputy Director –EDB) to the exporters.

    “During their recent meeting with the Treasury facilitated by EDB, Sri Lanka’s committed fruits and vegetable exporters came forward to contribute to make the sector a half-a-billion dollar industry in future. Also what they were looking forward from the government was mostly policy direction and shaping, rather than funding support for them! Moreover, most fruits and vegetable exporters are SME oriented and down the value chain, there is a significant contribution by them to our employment and farmer society & clusters, having a direct connection to our economy. Now you can see that despite low export values, how important this sector is” said DG Sujatha, and clarified: “It is time all Lankan exporters register with EDB.


    From 01 August 1985, any and all exporters in Sri Lanka should register with EDB, as per gazetted regulations. In that, anyone exporting any article of commercial value from Sri Lanka on or after 01 August 1985, should register with the EDB. This registration is free of charge and is not a hindrance to the exporter, but rather, brings some benefits-the exporters could build a rapport with the topmost export body the EDB, they can enter EDB’s database, and time to time, they could receive relevant export information” Of the 295 consignments, 290 were contaminated. None of the exporters of contaminated consignments were registered with EDB! These few non-registered exporters, unaware of procedures, have brought a bad reputation for Sri Lanka.”

    As per Customs Department data, 3650 exporters of all scales were active in 2013 which included both EDB registered and non-registered exporters. As of 2014 July, 3170 such active Lankan exporters have been reported, both EDB registered and non-registered. Interestingly, EDB statistics indicate that 227,853 companies, individuals, and SMEs have been registered with EDB as exporters since 01 August 1985, getting into active exports at one time or another. Therefore the overall exporters since 1985 August (both EDB registered and non-registered) could be much higher.

    Ms Champika Hewage (OIC, Plant Quarantine Station, Sea Port, Colombo), who made an extensive and in-depth presentation on quarantine procedures adopted in Sri Lanka for fruits and vegetables, pledged to the exporters: “When you export these products to markets such as EU, showing exports standards alone may not be enough –sometimes you even need to show that you followed Good Agricultural Practices! Based on your type of export products, we can help and teach you the necessary steps.”

    65% of Sri Lanka’s fruits and vegetable exports head to the Maldives and the Middle East. In 2013, Sri Lanka exported $19.69 Mn of vegetables and $40.82 Mn of fruits across the world. Fruit exports alone jumped by 118% from 2012’s $19 Mn. Vegetable exports too increased from $15.06 Mn in 2012 to $19.69 in 2013. Despite the low export volumes, both are critical for Sri Lankan economy due to the social and livelihood importance of them in the SME value chain.(KH)

    Last modified on Friday, 19 September 2014 10:55

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