Vietnam reopens door to Australian citrus and grapes

Thanh Nien News

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Vietnam will issue import permits for Australian citrus fruits and table grapes again starting August 1, after a seven-month suspension due to fruit fly concerns.
Hoang Trung, deputy head of Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department under the agricultural ministry, said that a recent inspection found Australian oranges, mandarins and table grapes met Vietnam’s biosecurity requirements.
Jeff Scott, CEO of the Australian Table Grape Association, said the table grape industry welcomed the resumption of exports to Vietnam.
“Prior to the suspension, table grapes represented A$32 million out of a total $40.9 million in Australian fresh fruit exports to Vietnam [in 2014], so Vietnam is a very important market for grapes. It is our second biggest export market,” the Vietnamese trade ministry’s website quoted Scott as saying.
Judith Damiani, CEO of Citrus Australia, said she was "delighted" to see the market reopen in time for the current citrus export season.
Vietnam maintained the closure to 35 other fruit varieties from Australia pending inspections, Trung said.
The Southeast Asian country suspended the import of all 38 fresh fruit varieties from Australia from January, aiming to prevent the fruit fly outbreak in Australia from spreading to Vietnam.
Last year Australia exported more than 13,000 metric tons of fruit to Vietnam, valued at A$40.9 million.

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