Updated November 2016
On 21 September 2016 the Egyptian government announced that it has reversed its zero-tolerance policy on ergot levels in wheat and will follow common international standards permitting up to 0.05 per cent in imports.
Further to our Gard Alert of 14 September 2016, Gard has been informed that Egypt’s decision to no longer accept imported wheat containing traces of the common grain fungus ergot as per decree No.1421/2016 of 22 August 2016 has now been reversed. The Egyptian government reportedly stated on 21 September 2016 that it was reinstating a 0.05 per cent tolerance level for the presence of ergot on wheat, a common international standard applied to wheat used for human consumption, and will apply this allowance to both outstanding and future wheat contracts.
Members and clients with vessels trading wheat to Egypt are advised to take note of the announced policy change concerning permitted ergot levels in imported wheat. However, as far as we have been able to establish there are no formal reference to changes in the Egyptian agriculture quarantine legislation and no official statement has been issued to cancel decree No.1421/2016 - which still prescribes a zero tolerance. We therefore recommend to stay in close contact with local agents to clarify the applicable requirements, including inspection and clearance procedures when arriving in Egyptian ports.
November 2016: New Egyptian decree enters into force on 1 January 2017
According to Gard’s correspondent El Hamamsy Marine Services Ltd., a prime minister’s decree gazetted on 13 November 2016 (No.2992/2016) confirms the application of the Egyptian standard specification for wheat (No.1-1601/2010) and the international 0.05 per cent tolerance for the presence of the ergot fungus in imported wheat. The decree, which enters into force on 1 January 2017, also states that the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) will be the sole state body authorised to inspect wheat at shipping and arrival ports. The GOEIC can hire inspection companies on behalf of suppliers to scan wheat at the ports of origin and can assign local inspectors at Egyptian ports. An English translation of Egypt’s prime minister decree No.2992/2016 is available here.
We are grateful to El Hamamsy Marine Services Ltd. for contributing to this alert.