The British government is pushing for the European Commission to reconsider plans to scrap an existing exemption from European Union (EU) duties for certain basmati rice from duties payable on other varieties of €250/tonne (US$310/tonne).

Because basmati is so expensive, some strains are exempt, but the Commission wants to levy duty upon “super” and “pusa” varieties over concerns that non-basmati rice is being labeled as basmati to evade the tariffs.

Britain told the EU Council of Ministers that the move would be damaging as super “accounts for 80% of Pakistan’s basmati rice exports to the EU […] where they are in strong demand,” and suggested using new DNA tests to identify rice varieties.