SAUDI ARABIA

New mechanism will stop import of fruits, vegetables from epidemic-hit countries

July 06, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture will start implementing a new mechanism for importing vegetables and fruits effective from Aug. 9 (Muharram 1).

Under the mechanism, shipment of fruits and vegetables from epidemic-hit countries will be stopped. The mechanism aims to support sustainability of local production, quality control, protection of plant wealth, and continuance of the flow of fresh vegetables and fruits to enhance food security.

The ministry said that the new regulations included determining the types and quantities of fruits and vegetables that are placed in the import license, according to the needs of the local market; regulating support services and transportation, and requirements for issuing licenses and import permits, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The ministry noted that the mechanism relied on the agricultural quarantine system of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states which stipulated that no shipment is allowed to enter the country except under an import license and a phytosanitary certificate issued by the competent authorities in the exporting country.

This comes in addition to the Kingdom’s executive regulations pertaining to the agricultural quarantine system of GCC states which states: “The party which wishes to import plants, plant products, or materials subject to phytosanitary regulations, requires an import permit to submit to the competent authorities, and compliant with international standards of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) that allows countries to place requirements on imported goods.

The ministry stated that the new mechanism stipulated that shipments of vegetables and fruits conform to the provisions of the agricultural quarantine system of the Gulf countries, as well as the technical regulations and the specifications approved by the ministry.

The ministry also clarified that if the import license expires, the incoming shipments will not be allowed to be released, and the ministry has the right to check the imported quantities according to each license, in addition to stopping the shipment in the event of the outbreak of epidemic diseases in the country of export.

July 06, 2021
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