PMFAI Applauds Court Ruling Against Pesticide Imports without Technical Registration

The Pesticides Manufacturers & Formulators Association of India (PMFAI), a national association representing the Indian agrochemical industry, supports the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court’s judgment in the PMFAI case against the Policy Guidelines granting registrations for imports of readymade pesticide formulations without registering Technical Grade pesticides in India, which restricted entry of Indian manufacturers.

The judgment on 17 October 2018 by the court upheld the new Policy Guidelines approved by the registration authority Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee (CIB&RC) in the case to give equal opportunities to Indian manufacturers and dismissed the contentions of importers.

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“We have great pleasure to inform that PMFAI efforts in the case yielded positive results by the above judgment, which will be equally beneficial to Indian pesticide industry as well as Indian farmers,” said PMFAI President Pradip Dave. “The final balanced guidelines, approved in compliance of the Gujarat High Court directives, will help the Indian pesticide industry and support the concept of ‘Make in India’.”

Here are notes on the case:

  • PMFAI filed cases in Gujarat High Court in the year 2011 (being Spl. Civil Application Nos. 2530 of 2011 & 7928 of 2011) against the policy Guideline on “Imports of readymade Pesticide Formulations without registering its Technical Grade Pesticides”.
  • This policy Guidelines approved in the year 2007 allowing Imports of Pesticides Formulations in which registration is granted to single party without registering Technical Grade product in India, which lead to monopoly of importers and also restricting entry of Indian pesticide manufacturers.
  • MNCs association CropLife India and its members intervened in the said matter with their objections.
  • After two years of legal battle, Gujarat High Court passed an Order, dated 05.09.2013 in favor of PMFAI by which directives given to Government that procedure of “Deemed Registration” granted for the Technical Grade Pesticides for three years (while granting registrations for Formulation Import) cannot be sustained and no further “Deemed Registrations” be granted. The Hon’ble High Court further directed the Registration authorities to frame new balanced Guidelines giving equal opportunities to indigenous manufacturers and importers.
  • After two years regulatory authority CIB&RC in its 359th meeting held on 2nd November 2015, approved new registration Guidelines for “Technical Indigenous Manufacture (TIM) vs. Formulation Import (FI)” which was submitted in Gujarat High Court on 27.11.2015.
  • From 365th meeting held on 22.04.2016 Registration Committee started implementing the above Guidelines by granting registrations for Bispyribac Sodium Technical and Bispyribac Sodium 10% SC Formulations to Indian companies viz. Gharda Chemicals, Insecticides India, and Godrej Agrovet.
  • Due to the efforts of PMFAI, new registrations granted to Indian companies under above guidelines and Farmers are able to get product like Bispyribac Sodium 10% SC Formulation at Rs.3500 KL which earlier were sold by Importers at Rs.8000 KL.
  • Again, CropLife India and its members obtained an Order, dated 26.4.2016 from Gujarat High Court to stop implementation of new guidelines and to stop issuing registrations.
  • With the intervention of PMFAI with LPA (as also by Indian companies) the said order was stayed by the Division Bench of Gujarat High Court on 6th May 2016.
  • By filing Special Leave Petitions in Supreme Court of India, CropLife India and Importers tried to challenge the Gujarat High Court Division Bench Order, dated 6th May 2016. But with the intervention of PMFAI again, Supreme Court not entertained the petitions and referred the matter back to Division Bench of Gujarat High Court.