Farm chemical importers vow to sue govt over ban

Farm chemical importers vow to sue govt over ban

Importers of three toxic farm chemicals, which are set to be officially banned from Dec 1, have vowed they will sue the government in the Administrative Court.

"The government should bear responsibility for failing to realise the economic impact a ban would cause," Wirawut Katanyukun, chairman of the Thai Agro-Business Association said on Monday.

He did not spell out exactly when the group will lodge its petition with the Administrative Court. However its aim is to see the National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) nullify the ban.

The 26-member NHSC voted on Oct 22 to upgrade paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos from Type 3 toxic substances to Type 4, effectively prohibiting their production, import, export or possession.

Mr Wirawut said farm chemical importers have been severely affected because they have to sell their stocks back to the manufacturers at low prices and take responsibility for transportation costs.

There are now 30,000 tonnes of three-banned chemicals in stock.

"We don't know how to return them to the manufacturers in time," he told media.

"The food production sector will also be affected as they can no longer import the grain from countries which still use the three chemicals," added Mr Wirawut.

He also warned that the ban may constitute a non-tariff barrier on foreign traders which "risks violating agreements signed under the World Trade Organisation".

Meanwhile, the Thai Chamber of Commerce will soon submit its solutions to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on how to help affected farmers and deal with imports from countries where the chemicals are still used.

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