The state-based oilseed processors association has claimed that IOPEPC has demanded registration of groundnut exporters and shelling units with itself, over and above the compulsory registration with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
Sometime back, APEDA made registration mandatory for peanut shelling units in order to export groundnut and groundnut products. However, according to GOPA, while registering groundnut exporters and peanut shelling units with APEDA is acceptable, doing the same with IOPEPC is not.
"IOPEPC is a trade body and it should have to work for us. However, IPOEPC has misguided us regarding peanuts export notification. Compulsory registration with IOPEPC is unacceptable. If necessary, we are ready to register with APEDA only. We don't want to deal with IOPEPC," said Mukund Shah, president of GOPA.
As per DGFT notification dated January 3, 2013, exports of groundnut have been subjected to registration with APEDA along with controlled Aflatoxin level certificate issued by APEDA recognized laboratories. On its part, IOPEPC said that it is compulsory for shelling units and exporters to register with it but according to GOPA no such thing has been mentioned in the notification.
Speaking on the allegations from GOPA, Rajesh Bheda, chairman of IOPEPC said, "By talking like this GOPA is instead misleading the industry. These allegations are wrong and whatever we are doing is for the benefit of the industry and we are ready to discuss the issue in open forum. These new rules are ultimately beneficial for the small shelling units but some are opposing it due to vested interests."
According to Bheda, the notification has made it mandatory for shelling units to register with IOPEPC. "If anyone wants to withdraw membership or cancel registration by following the false allegations, they can," Bheda added. What's more, GOPA is also opposing seeking a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certificate for peanut units. Shah said the association is instead ready to get Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) certificate from the Government of India. "HACCP certification is too costly as compared to FSSAI and is not viable to maintain norms to small units," said Shah.
During a recent meeting of GOPA, registered exporters have come in support of the association and ready to withdraw their registration from IOPEPC.
Meanwhile, groundnut export from India seem to have been adversely affected due to the new regulations by APEDA. The industry data showed that groundnut export from India during January and February period this year has been declined by 48 per cent.
About 50 per cent of groundnut shelling units in Gujarat have been closed since last two months after APEDA new rules, traders claimed.
According to IOPEPC data, groundnut export from India during January and February 2013 stood at 70,917 tonnes, down by 65,491 tonnes as compared to last year during same period. India had exported 136,408 tonnes of groundnut in January - February period in 2012. As per the data, total export in 2012-13 till February stood at 492,219 tonnes, which was 853,080 tonnes in 2011-12.
In the meeting GOPA has decided to meet commerce minister and ministry official and inform them that this new rules are hurting the export business of the India.