EGYPT – The Saudi Ministry of Agriculture has officially lifted the temporary ban on strawberry imports from Egypt and across the globe resuming issuance of import permits since February 1.

The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture had earlier announced a ban on strawberry imports from Egypt, specifying that any shipments arriving after January 24 would be rejected.

Contrary to earlier perceptions, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture clarified that the move was not a complete ban on Egyptian strawberries.

The initial decision, as explained by the ministry in a recent statement, was part of Saudi Arabia’s internal regulatory measures applicable to agricultural imports globally.

Importantly, the restriction was not a response to quarantine or health concerns but rather a strategic move to balance the domestic supply and demand dynamics.

Saad Moussa, supervisor of Egypt’s Central Administration of Plant Quarantine (CAPQ), shed light on the broader context of Saudi Arabia’s decision, emphasizing its universality beyond Egypt.

He stated, “The reason behind such a decision is not for quarantine or health reasons. It is a regulatory measure to manage the internal market.”

The suspension of strawberry imports affected multiple countries, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s commitment to aligning its internal market conditions.

Moussa reassured that importers with valid permits, including those from Egypt, can now resume shipments from February 1 onwards.

This move is expected to bring relief to Egyptian strawberry exporters who have faced disruptions due to the temporary suspension.

Highlighting the ongoing commitment to overseeing the situation, Saad Moussa acknowledged the vigilance of Mohamed El-Quseir, the Minister of Agriculture, in monitoring developments related to Egyptian agricultural exports.

This underscores the importance of diplomatic communication and mutual understanding between the two nations.

As trade resumes, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts to address the matter and stressed the significance of maintaining a transparent and open dialogue to prevent future trade disruptions.

The lifting of restrictions serves as a positive step in fostering continued economic cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, contributing to the stability of international agricultural trade.

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