Bahrain sets new rules for Egyptian imports ahead of guava imports resuming
Bahrain sets new regulations before resuming guava imports from Egypt: Egypt must provide Bahrain with a list of guava farms and suppliers, as well as accredited packaging stations, if it hopes to see its guava shipments re-enter the kingdom at the start of the upcoming 2018-19 season. The stipulation is part of a list of new rules that the Bahraini government reportedly set last month when it agreed to lift the ban on Egyptian guava imports, which was put in place last year due to pesticide contamination. The conditions also mandate that every shipment to Bahrain carry a safety certificate issued by a government-approved lab, and undergoes tested for residual pesticide levels, Al Mal reports. The Saudi government will begin implementing similar-style rules on Egyptian imports as of 13 July, after it agreed to lift blanket bans on guavas, strawberries, and peppers imported from the country. Tighter quality control measures led to a rise in fruit and vegetable exports this season.
Meanwhile, a 64 year-old Australian was reported dead after allegedly contracting Hepatitis A from frozen pomegranates imported from Egypt, Australian health authorities said, according to the BBC. Australian fruit provider Creative Gourmet had recalled pomegranate arils imported from Egypt back in April after the produce was linked to a Hep A outbreak that sickened at least 24 other people.
Quarantine to go digital? This comes as the Agriculture Ministry waits to receive financial allocations to start creating a digital platform for the Quarantine Authority, head Ahmed El Attar tells Al Masry Al Youm. The move would include creating a website and functional database for the authority, as well as linking its offices together and with a central control room to monitor all import/export-related activities. The Agriculture Ministry had said in March that it would launch a smart card system for farmers that will allow it to better track produce earmarked for exports and trace any sources of contamination.