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UAE's economy ministry has ordered the suspension of exports and re-exports of wheat and wheat flour originating from India for a period of four months, state news agency WAM said on Wednesday.

UAE's Ministry of Economy explained that this decision comes in view of the international developments that have affected trade flows and in appreciation of the solid and strategic relations that bind the UAE and India, especially after the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries and the Indian government's approval to export wheat to the UAE for domestic consumption.

The Ministry said that the companies wishing to export/re-export wheat and wheat flour varieties of Indian origin, which were imported into the country before 13th May, must submit a request to the Ministry to obtain permission to export outside of the UAE. They must submit all documents and files that help verify the data regarding the shipment in terms of its origin, date of transaction, and any other documents that the Ministry may require in this regard.

India had on May 14 banned wheat exports except for those backed by already issued letters of credit (LCs) and to countries seeking to ensure food security.

Since then, it has allowed shipments of 469,202 tonnes of wheat. The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Economy said the ban "applies to all wheat varieties namely hard, ordinary and soft wheat and wheat flour."

The Ministry also indicated that in the case of wheat and wheat flour products of non-Indian origin, companies wishing to export/re-export it may do so after applying to the Ministry for export permission outside the country. This application must also be supported by all documents and files that help verify the origin of the shipment to be exported/re-exported.

It noted that the export permit issued to companies is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and must be submitted to the relevant customs department in order to complete the procedures for exporting the shipment out of the UAE.

Mint had earlier reported that UAE is one of the five countries that has asked for Indian wheat via diplomatic channels after India banned wheat exports on May 13. UAE’s wheat imports from Russia got disrupted after the Russia-Ukraine war broke out. Other countries looking for Indian wheat are Indonesia, Oman, Bangladesh and Yemen.

The UAE imported $146 million worth of wheat from Russia in 2020, data from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS) showed. The Middle Eastern country has turned to India to replace Russian wheat. However, a panel formed by the government to evaluate such requests is yet to take a call.

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