Egypt and Saudi Arabia have agreed on suspending requirements imposed by Riyadh on imports of Egyptian agricultural crops, with a Saudi delegation set to visit Cairo next week to inspect control measures on crops.
According to an official statement published on Thursday, Agriculture and Land Reclamation Minister El-Sayed El-Quseir held a meeting with Saudi counterparts to discuss the new measures announced by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) last month.
In May, the SFDA had announced that it will require a mandatory Certificate of Conformity (COC) - starting from 15 July - for all fresh vegetables; fruits; agricultural crops and spices exported from Egypt, India and Jordan.
The products will require proof of compliance with technical regulations and standards approved by the SFDA, the authority said, with the COC of products from Egypt proving that a laboratory test for the hepatitis A virus has been performed.
El-Quseir reviewed during the virtual meeting with his Saudi counterparts the status of Egypt’s agricultural exports and its worldwide reputation, as well as the control procedures implemented to ensure the safety and quality of the products.
Hisham bin Saad Al-Jadhey, the SFDA CEO, expressed his appreciation of Egypt’s efforts in regards to its exports, the statement said, with both officials agreeing on suspending the new requirements.
The SFDA will send a technical delegation to Egypt next week to inspect measures undertaken by Egypt over its agricultural crops, according to the statement.
Egypt currently exports its crops to 160 countries, according to officials, who say that the volume of exports reflect on the products' quality and the safety of the measures taken in tracking and controlling these products.
Egypt’s agriculture exports exceeded 3.3 million tonnes in the first five months of 2021, up by 250,000 tonnes compared to the same period last year.
Among the major agricultural crops that have been exported during that period were citrus fruits; potatoes; onions; strawberries; pomegranates; beans; beets; guava; peppers; mango; garlic and grapes.