Bangladesh relaxes fumigation rule for import of US cotton

Bangladesh’s commerce ministry recently issued a notification relaxing the mandatory requirement of fumigating cotton imported from the United States after showing sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and boll weevil-free certificates of the US exporting authorities at domestic ports. This has been a pending demand by domestic importers and spinners to save time and money.

US cotton imports required an additional fumigation at the port of entry as per the Plant Quarantine Rules 2018.

The country annually spends over $3.5-4 billion to import around 8 million bales of cotton. It annually produces only 0.16 million bales.

In July 2019, the Bangladesh Tariff Commission recommended the government not to stop applying fumigation rules to avert any possible harmful impact of the boll weevil insect on crops. Boll weevil stays alive for 11 months and can fly up to five miles.