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Vietnam agriculture ministry orders tighter phytosanitary processes after China blows whistle on fruit imports

Vietnam agriculture ministry orders tighter phytosanitary processes after China blows whistle on fruit imports

Saturday, July 22, 2023, 16:47 GMT+7
Vietnam agriculture ministry orders tighter phytosanitary processes after China blows whistle on fruit imports
A truck carrying dragon fruits waits for customs clearance at Tan Thanh Border Gate in Lang Son Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Chi Tue / Tuoi Tre

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has ordered local authorities and relevant agencies to intensify control over and monitoring of phytosanitary processes for multiple fruits after China’s General Administration of Customs issued a warning against Vietnamese fruits that failed to meet phytosanitary standards.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Trung on Friday signed a dispatch asking the administrations of localities to enhance phytosanitary measures for fruit exports, according to the ministry.

The ministry has recently received some complaints from the Chinese side about several batches of fruits imported from Vietnam. These fruits such as bananas, jackfruits, mangoes, longans, dragon fruits, and durians failed to meet requirements on plant quarantine.

The Vietnamese ministry urged the provincial and municipal People’s Committees to strengthen manpower for phytosanitary operations at packaging facilities and growing areas provided with codes by China to avoid China’s suspension of buying Vietnamese fruits.

Cities and provinces should publicize China’s requirements on plant quarantine and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s guidelines on food safety so that farmers, farming households, and exporters can follow them.

Apart from closer supervision of phytosanitary processes, the provincial and municipal administrations were told to ask packaging facilities to sanitize batches of fruits before export and have packaging processes checked carefully.

The ministry will halt the use of planting area codes and the operations of packaging facilities for their involvement in the batches that fail to meet China’s phytosanitary requirements, and issue a ban on those for repeated violations.

Besides, the ministry asked localities home to border gates to direct plant quarantine agencies to heighten their work to ensure fruits will meet China’s requirements.

“Loose examination on the quality of fruits and ineffective phytosanitary operations can lead to tighter control over imports by China and other nations, even to a suspension of importing some of Vietnamese farm produce,” noted the ministry.

China’s General Administration of Customs will conduct on-site checks on some coconut growing areas and packaging facilities in Vietnam in mid-August to issue export codes, according to the Plant Protection Department under the ministry.

China is one of Vietnam's key farm produce buyers.

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Tieu Bac - Chi Tue / Tuoi Tre News

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