Vietnam bans Australian fruit and vegetable imports

Australia is among the top five largest fruit exporters to Vietnam besides China, the USA, New Zealand and South Africa. (Image source: Kerry J/Flickr)

Vietnam has stopped issuing import permits for Australian fruit and vegetables for 2015, citing concerns about fruit fly

Michelle Christoe, executive director at Australian Horticultural Exporters Association (AHEA), said, “Vietnam has expressed particular concerns about Mediterranean fruit fly, primarily an issue in western Australia rather than the eastern states.

“But many within the Australian horticulture sector privately believe that the real reason for Vietnam’s decision to tighten its import regulations is because of the country’s frustration over the length of time taken by Australia in deciding whether it will accept horticultural imports from Vietnam.”

A spokesperson from the department of agriculture of Australia added that the department is working with the Vietnamese government to provide additional information about fruit fly management and control in Australia.

“Officials in the region are meeting as often as possible with Vietnamese counterparts to minimise trade disruptions and encourage early resolution of Vietnam’s concerns,” the spokesperson noted.

According to official figures, horticultural exports to Vietnam were worth US$40mn in 2014.