Saudi strawberry imports ban isn’t exclusive to Egypt: Agriculture trade regulator

Ahram Online , Sunday 28 Jan 2024

Saudi Arabia’s decision to ban strawberry imports does not apply only to Egypt, said Saad Moussa, supervisor of Egypt’s Central Administration of Plant Quarantine (CAPQ).

File Photo: A farmer shows his harvested strawberry crop in a field in the Beheira governorate, nort
File Photo: A farmer shows his harvested strawberry crop in a field in the Beheira governorate, north of Cairo, Egypt. Reuters


Moussa explained that Saudi Arabia’s decision, sent in an official letter to Egypt, was to temporarily suspend strawberry imports from all markets, not just the Egyptian market, according to a cabinet statement on Sunday. 

“The reason behind such a decision is not for quarantine or health reasons,” Moussa stated.

He further noted that all importers who have obtained import permits receive their shipments without any issues and are granted entry, and Saudi Arabia is regulating imports from all countries worldwide based on market conditions and local production.

CAPQ's supervisor confirmed that import permits for strawberries will be reissued starting 1 February. 

Moussa emphasized that Mohamed El-Quseir, the minister of agriculture, is constantly following up with the quarantine department and intensifying any developments related to Egyptian agricultural exports.

Four days earlier, the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture announced banning the import of any strawberries from Egypt.

The Saudi ministry noted that shipments imported would be promptly rejected, clarifying that the import permit was valid for 15 days before 24 January, and any date before that would render the permit invalid.

Egypt's food exports increased by 15 percent, reaching $4.3 billion during the first 10 months of 2023, up from $3.8 billion in the corresponding period of 2022.

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