Egyptian orange shipments retained in Russian ports for over a week finally released: Agriculture minister

Ahram Online , Saturday 12 Feb 2022

Russia has finally released Egyptian orange shipments that had been retained in Russian ports reportedly for 10 days due to changes in Russian import standards, about which the Egyptian authorities were not informed.


The ban, imposed by Russia’s Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) on some Egyptian companies exporting citrus products to Russia, was lifted, the Minister of Agriculture El-Sayed El-Quseir said on Friday, a day after he had discussed the issue with Russian Ambassador to Cairo Georgy Borisenko.

The shipments had been retained for pesticide detection, Ahmed El-Attar, head of the Central Administration of Plant Quarantine at the agriculture ministry told Masrawy newspaper. The shipment reportedly amounted to tens of thousands of tons.

Egypt is the world’s leading orange exporter at an annual volume of about two million tonnes, Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea said in a meeting with Borisenko last week, affirming that the government is keen that Egyptian exports comply with Russian import standards.

Egyptian exports to the Russian market totalled $489 million in 2021, up by 17.5 percent in 2020, making Russia one of Egypt’s top export markets, Gamea said.

In December, Rospotrebnadzor decided to suspend imports of a number of fruits from certain producers in countries including Egypt, Turkey and Iran, over alleged food safety violations.

In his meeting with Borisenko on Thursday, El-Quseir stressed that the Egyptian orange shipments were safe and complied with all international technical standards, including those set by Russia, a statement by the ministry said.

The minister requested establishing quick communication points and technical committees between the two countries to solve urgent technical problems and prevent their recurrence.

He asked the Russian authorities to inform the Egyptian side about new legislation regarding the export of Egyptian crops to Russia.

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