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China opens its borders to Chilean shelled nuts

After two years of work, the protocol that allows Chilean shelled nuts to be exported to China initiated last Thursday, December 5. Since the Chinese deputy director of the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) signed the protocol, all that is missing, for exports to effectively start, is for China to accept the phytosanitary certificate issued by Chile's Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG).

"The signing of the protocol is the milestone that authorized export of shelled nuts to China. All that remains pending is the issue of the phytosanitary certificate. This is a routine procedure for the SAG; it will propose a phytosanitary certificate format and China must confirm it. It's definitely a minor procedure that will be taken care of within the next two weeks and that won't limit or delay exports. It is an ongoing process," said Andres Rodriguez, president of the Chilean Walnut Commission.

Rodriguez stressed that the companies that wanted to send fruits to China had to register at the SAG to confirm that they met the protocol's requirements.

Asked about when exports would begin, Rodriguez said that, since Chile's nut season was ending, it was very likely that exports would start strongly at the beginning of the 2014 season.

"I believe that this approval came near the end of the season, there's not much supply left in December, and while there could be some during January and February I think that the strong exports will start with the 2014 season which begins in March."

Regarding the possibility of managing the entry of other products to China, the President of the Chilean Walnut stated that, "the authorization for walnuts and shelled nuts are different. The shelled ones had an easier path because they come from another department of the AQSIQ, where they check processed products, whereas the walnuts that had a shell were entering through a department that looks at fresh fruit, so the authorizations are different," he said.

"This is a longer process and it's a little bit more complex, however, it's something we have to achieve. We've been working on this in parallel to the shelled nuts and it is already a priority for the government. We are gathering all background information and everything that's needed so that this product is also authorized, "he said.


Source: portalfruticola.com


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