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Kinnow smuggling to Iran hurting exports

Published: October 28, 2011

KARACHI: Smuggling of kinnow to Iran has increased manifolds in the last few years, reducing the legal trade from 2,000 containers to 200 and resulting in a loss of around $40 million every year to the country, exporters said. 

Co-chairman All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association Waheed Ahmed told The News that non-professional people had entered the business, which hurt the business of genuine exporters. 

Trade by road reduces the quality of fruit; he said and added the illegal traders fail to take care of standards. “Kinnow export can be made by road, but it ýshould be in proper way and meeting the standards,” he said. 

Iran’s share in the total export of Pakistani kinnow stands at around 33 percent.

Kinnow exports to Iran are likely to face serious problems in the coming seasons if exporters do not comply with Iranian quarantine department’s requirement of shipping kinnows in refrigerated containers, said a leading exporter. “The Iranian authorities have demanded kinnow shipments in refrigerated containers, but Pakistani exporters ignoring the condition have shipped the fruit in open trucks,” said Jawad. 

He expressed fear that the Iranian authorities may refuse to clear Pakistani kinnow for non-compliance with the refrigerated container condition very soon. 

The CEO Harvest Trading said the Minister for Commerce must ensure that the condition is complied with. 

He further said that the minister must call a meeting of exporters and take undertakings from them about compliance of Iranian conditions. He said the government must check smuggling and create check posts for ensuring documentation and compliance.