Saudi lifts its import ban on Egypt’s guavas
Saudi Arabia officially lifted its ban on Egyptian guava imports yesterday, Agriculture Quarantine Authority head Ahmed El Attar tells Al Shorouk. The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) had announced lifting the ban back in April, but said at the time that imports would be limited to SFDA-approved suppliers. The kingdom had initially imposed the ban on Egyptian guavas as a temporary measure earlier this year over concerns of high levels of residual pesticides.
This came as the Quarantine Authority issued new rules for strawberry and pepper exports ahead of the new season, sources said yesterday. Under new policies, farmers must be registered to the government’s new coding system for exporters — which means to help the government keep better track of exported cargo — before their produce can be shipped. Cargo also has to be packaged at government-approved stations, where it will be examined by state inspectors. A farm’s export activities will be temporarily suspended until investigations conclude if its cargo is rejected for not being up to spec. Imports of Egyptian peppers and strawberries had been banned by a number of Arab countries last year, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait, who all claimed the crops contained unsafe pesticide levels. The government has taken various steps since then to tighten quality inspection measures on goods earmarked for exports.