Published: December 09, 2013
KARACHI: Russia has lifted the ban on imports of citrus fruits from Pakistan with effect from December 9, a notification said on Wednesday.
The import of the fruits will, however, remain “subject to compliance with their international and Russian phytosanitary requirements,” the notification said.
The ban is only being lifted on imports of citrus fruits, while restrictions on the import of other products with high phytosanitary risk (rice, potatoes, etc.) will remain in place till the Pakistani authorities take the required measures.
Waheed Ahmed, spokesman of All Pakistan Fruits and Vegetables Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), said that the removal of the ban would help Pakistan achieve its set target of exporting 300,000 tons (worth $180 million) kinoos this year.
“Russia has a 70,000 to 80,000 tons kinoo market for Pakistan,” he said, adding that the Ministry of National Food Security and Research has also been making efforts to convince Russia to remove the ban on import of other food items from Pakistan as well.
“Pakistan had started exporting kinoos from December 1 (Sunday).
To date, it has exported 700 tons of fruits to various markets of the world, including Dubai, Muscat, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Indonesia and Sri Lanka,” he said. “The Russian Federation had banned the import of all agriculture products from Pakistan with effect from October 1, after they found pests in potatoes imported from Pakistan.”
Meanwhile, the Russian authorities may visit Pakistan in January 2014 to examine the measures being taken by the Pakistani officials to resume exports of potatoes and other high phytosanitary products to Russia, he added.