Fruits only exported to China by official trade

VCN - Speaking to a Customs Newspaper reporter, Deputy Director of Plant Protection Department (MARD) Nguyen Quy Duong said it was possible that China would apply stricter rules and requirements for imported fruits. Accordingly, promoting official exports in combination with improving quality was a stable and sustainable way for fruits in particular and Vietnamese agricultural products in general.
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fruits only exported to china by official trade

From the end of last year until now, the Chinese side has tightened regulations and requirements on imported fruits, causing difficulties for fruit exports to this market. What is your assessment on this act?

In fact, the Chinese central government can control the official exports, but cannot cover up border-trade exports. China had a long time to loosen policies and regulations for poor provinces such as Yun Nan and Guang Xi to encourage imports and exports, promoting economic development. Currently, China has started tightening controls.

Even in the Chinese domestic market, farmers widely use chemicals, but in recent years, China has started to pay a lot of attention to this problem. Products made in China are also raising demands for food safety. Therefore, for imported goods, China also started raising requirements and controlling quality. China itself wants to manage the import-export situation so the tightening from China is normal.

This is also good for Vietnam's production, requiring a need to improve quality and pay more attention to the issue of using pesticides. Farmers must think about manufacturing for export and in accordance with the market’s demand. It needs to implement the exports to China. Thereby, the domestic market will also benefit.

Could you please tell us more about the official fruit exports to the Chinese market from the beginning of the year? Is it true that only border-trade export have faced difficulties?

In May 2018, China began tightening regulations and requirements for Vietnamese fruits exported to China through both official channels and other channels such as through goods owners. Accordingly, China requires that for traceability products must have a planting area code and a packing facility code. These are the two requirements for the official fruit exports to China. Currently, nine kinds of Vietnamese fruits are permitted to be exported to China; 1,300 planting area codes and over 1,435 packaging facilities codes are issued.

From the beginning of the year until now, big exporters of these fruits have gained information and requests from China. Goods congestion at the border gate is due to the fruit crop and large export volume, but not due to failure to understand information and regulations from China.

Some fruits with large export volume and without export permits can face many difficulties such as durian and coconut. Currently, there are 47,000 hectares of durian nationwide. In the past two years, this was considered a billion-dong fruit. In 2018, on ​​one hectare of durian, famers obtained more than VND 1 billion when the average output was about 20 tons / ha, with the price at the garden of up to 70,000 VND / kg. Vietnam's durian was exported to China. Chinese people like durian, and even consider it a king of fruits and a lucky fruit. This year, durian has not been permitted for official export so it is very difficult.

Will the Chinese side tighten regulations and requirements for Vietnamese fruits , sir?

Currently, for fruit subject to official export to China, the requirements on planting area codes and packing facility codes, the Chinese side allows Vietnam to self-assess and self-grant the codes. China only sees the codes but does not inspect or do anything else. However, it is likely that the Chinese side will gradually raise the requirements together with specific standards, conditions, and even physical inspections. If requirements and standards are not satisfied, the Chinese side will stop ineligible planting area codes and packing facility codes. The Plant Protection Department has warned all provinces about this.

Experience working with the Chinese side on rice products shows that to export rice to China, exporters must be on the list of enterprises permitted for export. The Chinese side will inspect exporters, processing factories and planting areas.

In order for the Vietnamese fruit industry to avoid falling into a passive status when trading with the Chinese market, what are urgent things to be deployed?

Firstly, further reviewing the areas that have got planting area codes, speeding up production according to VietGAP standards and issuing VietGAP certificates. In the past few years, for the litchi fruit, although the Chinese side has not set requirements, but for areas, which had planting area codes to export to developed countries and areas, which produced products according to VietGAP standards, the Chinese side quickly ordered and offered competitive prices. Thus, we should take the initiative in organizing production, assessment and guide people in production in accordance with VietGAP standards.

Secondly, issuing policies for farmers to link into groups, teams and cooperatives to produce goods not only for China but also for developed countries. They are policies on promoting production such as the program of 15,000 cooperatives by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the establishment of new models of cooperative with stable exports. This is the way that China and Thailand are going. Vietnam also needs to follow this way to produce agricultural products for export and the domestic market.

fruits only exported to china by official trade VN’s fruits need to gain domestic market before exporting: experts

Obviously, border-trade export of fruit has gradually lost the opportunity to enter into the Chinese market and the official export needs to be promoted. What is the agricultural sector planning for this situation, sir?

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has issued a specific plan to open the market and promote official exports to China. Currently, the fruit being promoted is durian. The application was submitted from the beginning of 2019, hopefully by 2020, durian will be permitted to be exported to China. After durian, other potential fruits will be promoted for export to China including coconut, grapefruit, passion fruit, custard apple and avocado.

Thank you Sir!

Currently, Vietnam has nine kinds of fresh fruits eligible for official exports to China including dragon fruit, watermelon, licthi, longan, banana, mango, jackfruit, rambutan and mangosteen. On April 26, 2019, the two countries signed a protocol to open the market for mangosteen and a protocol on export of Vietnam’s dairy products to the Chinese market.
By Thanh Nguyen/ Huyen Trang

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