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Saudi ban on Egyptian strawberries to take effect in January

Saudi ban on Egyptian strawberries to take effect in January

RIYAD: Saudi Arabia’s decision to ban imports of Egyptian strawberries due to pesticide residues will go into force as of January 18, the General Organization for Export & Import Control said Thursday.

An official committee is currently conducting an investigation to find out the company, or companies, that were responsible for the decision to bar strawberry exports to Saudi Arabia.

In November, an official delegation visited the kingdom to review the decision, but Saudi Arabia has decided to temporarily ban strawberry imports from Egypt.

The kingdom had imposed a similar ban on Egyptian strawberries over pesticide residues in July 2017.  Saudi Arabia is the largest importer of Egyptian pepper, with its imports reaching 15,000 tons out of Egypt’s total pepper exports that amounted to 23,000 tons last season.

Last year, Egypt has faced a series of bans on several agricultural products, such as pepper, lettuce and onion, by Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates also on concerns over pesticide residues.

The government has asked an agricultural quarantine body to advise on shipments and warn of exporters who violate agreed-upon international standards.  The three Gulf countries have agreed to lift the ban in October 2017 after a series of meetings and negotiations held between an Egyptian delegation and the Gulf countries.