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28 September 2011
Chinese and New Zealand quarantine authorities have finalised an agreement that clarifies the conditions of access for New Zealand apples into China and provides greater certainty for traders.
The agreement, Protocol of phytosanitary requirements for the export of apples from New Zealand to China, was signed in Wellington today.
It was signed by His Excellency Mr. Xu Jianguo, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China and Carol Barnao, the Deputy Director-General, Standards at the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, in the presence of the Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu.
New Zealand has supplied high-quality apples for the Chinese spring-summer, off-season period for many years.
In 2008 China sought assurances about quarantine pests, including fire blight, and in 2009 the two countries’ quarantine authorities began negotiating the Protocol.
Formalising the Protocol and organising more of a technical underpinning for the trade is a significant step forward in the relationship between the two countries.
It includes provisions for initiating a joint investigation if a quarantine pest is found, rather than an immediate shut-down of all apple exports – which presented a significant business risk for traders.
Under the Protocol, orchards and facilities involved in export of New Zealand apples to China will be registered with MAF prior to the beginning of the export season in March each year. Conditions include implementing the New Zealand horticulture industry’s Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) systems.
MAF expects the Protocol will support export of increasing volumes of New Zealand apples to China in coming years.
For the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry: Jackie Bedford, ph (04) 894 0654 or call the MAF Media phoneline: 029 894 0328.