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New Delhi, Dec 9 – Seeking to maintain sufficient stock of onions and keep inflation in check ahead of Lok Sabha election early next year, the government has banned exports of onions till March 2024.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has amended its onion export policy and placed the key kitchen item in ‘Prohibited’ category from ‘free.’

The new notification has come into effect from December 8, 2023.

The notification said that export of onion would, however, be allowed in three conditions.

“…..consignments of onions will be allowed to be exported on fulfilment of any one of the following three conditions: i. where loading of onions on the ship has commenced before this Notification; ii. where the shipping bill is filed and vessels have already berthed or arrived and anchored in Indian ports for loading of onion and their rotation number has been allocated before this Notification; The approval of loading in such vessels will be issued only after confirmation by the concerned Port Authorities regarding anchoring/berthing of the ship for loading of onions prior to the Notification; and iii. where consignments of onions has been handed over to the Customs before this Notification and is registered in their system / where consignments onions has entered the Customs Station for exportation before this Notification and is registered in the electronic systems of the concerned Custodian of the Customs Station with verifiable evidence of date and time stamping of these commodities having entered the Customs Station prior to issuance of this Notification.

The period of export shall be up to 5th January, 2024,” said the notification.

The notification further said that export of onions will also be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the Government of India to other countries based on the request of their Government.