Despite the influence of Covid-19 Vietnam still exported 5175 tons of fresh fruit to the US since March 252020. The estimated value was up to USD8 million. In this period, fruit export value is slightly decreasing compared to last year, 6000 tons. However, the export volume can still be equal to or higher than last year until the end of the year, following the fruit harvest season in Vietnam, according to Mr. Hoang Trung, Director of Vietnam Plant Protection Department.
To achieve this goal, the Plant Protection Department collaborated with experts at APHIS Hanoi and US Embassy staff to resume the irradiation pre-clearance activities for fresh fruit exported to the United States.
During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam, US experts from APHIS’s program which started in 2008 had to return home in March 2020. This means the export of fresh fruits from Vietnam to the US may have to be stopped. The collaboration of the 3 parties to re-send the experts to Vietnam at this time proved the US support for domestic agricultural trade.
After successfully finishing the quarantine period since arrival on September 2 Mr. Timothy Westbrook, the APHIS’ expert, now works with the current temporary APHIS inspector to ensure seamless transition to the normal inspection routine. He will begin full-time inspections under the pre-clearance operation trade of fresh fruit on September 21 at Son Son Irradiation Company, the only domestic unit licensed to perform phytosanitary food irradiation for fruit exported to the US.
Currently, there are 6 types of fruits from Vietnam allowed to import by the US including dragon fruit, rambutan, longan, litchi, breast milk and mango. Import and export turnover of fruits between Vietnam and the US reached an average of 20 million USD/year. The Plant Protection Department is negotiating with the US Government to bring grapefruit to the US in the near future. Technical stages areon-going before the two countries make a joint statement.
The above information was recorded from the press conference “Irradiation Pre-clearance Program for Fresh Fruit Exported to the United States” on September 25 in Ho Chi Minh City, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the US.
Featured photos: Mr. Timothy Westbrook, the APHIS’ expert, in the handover process with the current temporary APHIS inspector.
By My Huyen
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