Mexico-bound canaryseed under “force majeure” – for Aug. 30, 2010

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The Canadian Special Crops Association has declared force majeure on exports of canaryseed bound for Mexico, which will extend deadlines indefinitely on crop deliveries to Mexican importers.

A declaration of force majeure allows extra time for the execution of contracts in the case of “extremely unusual events” for as long as those events are deemed to have lasted, the CSCA said.

Canadian canaryseed deliveries to Mexico have been disrupted since late June when Mexico slapped a “hold and test” policy for canaryseed from Canada and indicated any shipments found to contain quarantine weed seeds would be rejected.

Mexico’s quarantine list includes wild buckwheat and stinkweed, two common weeds in Canada.

The import requirements were changed without the standard 60-day advance notice of a change in import policy, the association said in a release Aug. 19. “A long-term solution has not yet been reached that would allow trade to proceed in a predictable manner.”

Thus, the time for execution of contracts entered into on or before Aug. 19 for Canadian canaryseed headed for Mexico and traded under CSCA trade rules will be extended until the CSCA’s board rules that “the effect of this event no longer exists.”

The CSCA and officials from the federal government and Canadian Food Inspection Agency have worked with canaryseed exporters and Mexican importers in an attempt to resolve this issue, the association said.

A backlog of canaryseed rail cars at the U. S./Mexican border has been addressed, the CSCA said. Mexico last month agreed to a 60-day delay on its restrictions, which allowed the rail cars to enter the country.

But it’s not clear how future shipments will be handled to the satisfaction of Mexican authorities and importers and Canadian exporters alike, the association said.

Exports of Canadian canaryseed to Mexico averaged over 42,000 tonnes and $25 million per year over the last three years, making Canada the top supplier to the Mexican market.

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