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Clove exports to surpass 5,000 tonnes

This will be a record year for Sri Lanka’s export of cloves as for the first time in its history, exports will surpass 5,000 tonnes and foreign exchange earnings will be over three billion rupees, according to the media spokesman for the Spices and Allied Products’ Producers’ and Traders’ Association (SAPPTA), its Past Chairman Gulam Chatoor.

Sri Lanka exported 4,838 tonnes of cloves during Jan/June 2008, and by the end of the year, exports will be around 5,500 tonnes. Earnings from exports during Jan/June 2008 were Rs. 2.7 billion and for 2008, this figure should exceed Rs. 3 billion.

Exports of cloves from Sri Lanka have been mainly to India as Sri Lankan cloves enter India, duty free under the Indo Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA) as against a tariff of 27% to 35% applicable to other origins.

Of the total exports from Sri Lanka, over 90% is exported to India and this trend will continue as long as the advantageous tariff continues to be made available to Sri Lanka, according to Gulam Chatoor, a prominent exporter of cloves and other spices.

The Sri Lankan Department of Commerce (the certificate of origin issuing authority under ISFTA), the Customs department and the Spices and Allied Traders Association have been policing the system of issuing certificates of origin to guard against cloves from other origins going to India via Sri Lanka and claiming the zero tariff, wrongly.

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