2020 Pre-Conference Workshop – Global Regulations and Trade in the Spice Industry

Global trade has been an essential element of the spice industry since the discovery and inception of international spice trade routes, and global relationships remain a backbone of the industry today. In 2018 alone, almost $2 billion worth of spices were imported into the United States and over $111 million was exported. Since most spices are grown overseas and must be imported into the U.S., global regulations are of the utmost importance to the domestic spice industry. Despite the near constant global movement of spices, regulations and trade in 2020 have become more restrictive and expensive to navigate. Many of the trade and business issues impacting international spices today are related to changes to varying national regulations and international, tariffs, and diplomatic relationships.

The Pre-Conference Workshop will go into detail on the current view of the global trade and tariff landscape, provide an overview of international regulations around the world impacting the spice industry, assess the impact of differing regional regulations on U.S. enforcement, and discuss strategies to navigate global regulatory issues and customs challenges. There will also be an in-depth panel discussion of international spice associations around the world about the regulatory challenges in the various regions.

A separate registration fee of $165 is required to attend this workshop. To register select the option to add Pre-Conference Workshop on the online registration form.   

Sunday, April 19, 2020

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Overview of Current Global Trade and Tariff Landscape
Bill Bryant, Bryant Christie
Bill Bryant, a leading expert in global trade and regulations, will set the stage for our Pre-Conference Workshop with an overview of the current trade landscape and information about the dynamic global regulatory environment. Bill will discuss the challenges that the food industry faces due to the lack of harmonization of food standards and regulations. He will outline specific challenges related to global regulation of pesticide and contaminant issues. Finally, Bill will provide insight on tools and strategies that food companies can use to navigate these complex issues.

1:45 pm – 2:30 pm
FDA Priorities for the Safety of Imported Foods
Dan Solis, Division Director for Division of West Coast Imports (DWCI) MHA
In 2019 FDA released a strategy for the safety of imported food and launched the “New Era of Smarter Food Safety”. These initiatives intend to strengthen the U.S. food system, including a focus on oversight and traceability of imported foods. FDA representatives will discuss observations from the ports and share enforcement and compliance trends, including an overview of import alert data on spices. Furthermore, FDA will explain how it screens imported commodities, sampling and detention programs, and how to get off of import alert. Finally, there will be a discussion of FDA’s priorities for imported commodities, including a discussion of outreach and education in Asia.

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Trade Wars and Tariffs Affecting Spice Trade
Ben England, Benjamin L. England & Associates, LLC
The global tariff and trade landscape has changed dramatically since 2018. President Trump instituted a series of tariffs on almost all imports from China, the U.S. won an arbitration award against the EU, and the USMCA, or NAFTA 2.0, began its journey to becoming law. This presentation will address updates on the current trade and tariff landscape. Furthermore, this session will discuss how trade remedy enforcement – and catching duty evaders – is a “major priority” for US Customs. This workshop will identify key CBP enforcement activities, integration with other government agencies (e.g., FDA) and how the spice industry can minimize risk in the ever-evolving international trade wars and skirmishes.

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Spice Association Executive Director Roundtable
Sanjeev Bisht, Management Committee Member, AISEF and Business Head Spices, ITC Limited
Dr. Martin Einig, Executive Director, European Spice Association
Hoang Thi Lien, Executive Director, International Pepper Community
Mike Liu, President, China Spice Association
Laura Shumow, Executive Director, American Spice Trade Association
Doug Williams, Research Fellow Regulatory Affairs, Kalsec
Representatives of spice associations from around the world will provide expert information on global regulations and challenges that arise and areas where they work together towards global harmonization.

4:15 pm – 4:45 pm
Global Food Regulation Update
Joseph Scimeca, Senior Vice President Regulatory Affairs, Int’l Dairy Food Association 
This session will provide an overview of the global regulatory environment, with a focus on regulatory developments impacting the spice industry. Different regions take fundamentally different approaches to the foundation of food regulations. For example, the European Union’s precautionary approach differs from the risk-based approach of other western countries, and the reactionary approach of other regions. This talk will discuss the practical implications of these differences and the challenges of harmonization of international standards.