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Many countries have barriers which prevent the importation of fresh potatoes because of pest and disease concerns, or make entry particularly expensive and difficult to comply with particularly for fresh product.

The Export Market Development Group negotiates new access arrangements and works to ensure access compliance costs are kept to a minimum.

Potatoes NZ Inc. works closely with Market Access Solutionz (contracted advisors), Ministry for Primary Industries and Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

Current Work Programme:

Fiji

In February Biosecurity Authority of Fiji advised a change in import certificate requirements within Fiji. Since then PNZ Inc. have been working with Ministry of Primary Industries to negotiate a suitable pre-approved procedure for Ministry Approved Organisations (MAO’s) as well as develop a practical Standard Operating Procedure for non-MAO’s.

There remains a grace period in force for all phytosanitary certificates issued either on or before the 15th March 2016 under the current industry practice.

From the 16th March 2016 phytosanitary certificate for potatoes to Fiji will only be issued on verification of sprout inhibitor application. Details of the application (chemical and rate) must be recorded on the phytocertificate.

The MPI pre-approved procedure which must be carried out by all MAO’s. For non- MAO’s a standard operating procedure (guidelines) have been provided to enable compliance with the certification requirements and this will be verified by the IVA’s at end point inspection.

Please find below the three documents – please read the documents carefully:

 

Vietnam

Fresh potatoes from New Zealand have now been approved for export to Vietnam, providing a new export opportunity for growers. The export protocol for Vietnam has been formally signed and the PCN/potato wart OAP has been updated with the new requirements. Vietnam will now be invited to visit New Zealand to view the potato export system. It is anticipated that trade will commence in 2017. Exporters are encouraged to make contacts in this market and apply for an import certificate as soon as possible to support this new market access with some commercial shipments.
Download the importation requirements here.

 

Japan

In summary, Japan indicated that if New Zealand could meet the import requirements for the USA, who has access for potatoes for processing, then access may be considered favourably. New Zealand would need to develop and follow a similar systems approach to the USA.

All USA potatoes for processing are processed into chips at facilities located at two ports of arrival in Japan. USA potatoes to Japan for processing are also required to be washed. PNZ Inc. will now undertake some economic analysis for the potential of this market.

Feedback from the recent bilateral discussions between Japan and MPI is that it was a very constructive meeting overall. During the meeting MPI confirmed Potatoes NZ will be exploring trade and commercial opportunities with processors and that access remains a priority. However PNZ Inc. will need to respond formally to Japan’s proposals (including any alternative proposals). For a very useful market report summarising opportunities within Japan click here.

 

Korea

Market access to Korea was achieved in 2011. The import requirements are the toughest of any of New Zealand’s fresh potato markets. As such growers and exporters have not been able to take advantage of this market.

Potatoes NZ Inc. has an active programme seeking changes to these import conditions. As the issues centre on the rigorous and expensive PCN testing regime required by Korea, Potatoes NZ Inc. has provided a 2013 research report on post harvest treatments for the removal of PCN from potato tubers.

The Korea- New Zealand Free Trade Agreement was signed in November 2014 and resulted in some benefits for trade in potatoes to Korea from New Zealand.

  • Seed potatoes – current 30% in-quota tariff reducing to zero over 10 years, out-of-quota tariff remains at 304%.
  • Fresh potatoes for table use – have been excluded from the FTA and the existing tariff of 304% remains.
  • Fresh potatoes for chipping – now a seasonal window for fresh potatoes for chipping at zero tariff between 1 December and 30 April. For fresh potatoes for chipping entering Korea between 1 May and 30 November the base rate 304% tariff will phase out over 15 years.
  • Frozen potatoes have a base tariff of 27% phasing down to zero over 15 years.
  • Prepared or preserved frozen potatoes will have their base tariff of 18% phased out over 3 years.

MPI held bilateral discussions with Korea on 17th November 2015 giving MPI a forum to progress New Zealand’s request for better access conditions to Korea with the relevant officials. MPI report that the recent bilateral meeting was very productive. Korea indicated that they were receptive to reviewing the new information, although indicated that Zebra Chip is an issue that has emerged in the potato industry that may also need to be looked at as part of any review. They would view this as a revision of the current protocol rather than a new market access request. Korea suggested that reconsideration would be easier should New Zealand want to focus on seeking an import protocol only for processed potatoes, rather than one that covered fresh table potatoes as well.

Other market access related issues:

European Union

The ICPR for the European Union has been updated with the following:

  • Added requirements for inspection of consignments being exported to the United Kingdom (UK) and Spain to not be inspected more than 14 days before export, refer to section 2.4.

If you need any further clarification please contact your Independent Verification Agency in the first instance. Download the updated European Union ICPR here.

French Polynesia

Clarification of import requirements, refer to Importing Countries Phytosanitary Requirements for updated details.

Papua New Guinea

PNG have advised of import restrictions on a range of vegetables including fresh potatoes refer the Gazette Notice. Fresh potato exports to PNG fall within the ‘other category’ in the weekly Potatoes NZ Inc. export report and in the year to Dec 31 2014, the ‘other category’ was only 489MT out of total fresh exports of 11, 973MT.

India

Labelling requirements.

Russia

Clarification of import requirements, refer to Importing Countries Phytosanitary Requirements for updated details. However please note that Russia is updating its import requirements but until they are formalised, the ICPR will not be updated. It is expected that the regulations will be in place by the end of the year.

Taiwan

Draft standard “Sanitation Standard for Food Cleansers” in mid-2014.

This draft standard covers both substances used to disinfect or clean food as well as substances used to clean or disinfect food-contact surfaces. A submission was provided to Taiwan, with input from the potato sector, on sanitizers and post-harvest treatments that may be in common use. Taiwan recently advised that it revised the draft standard for sanitisers following a range of comments received. New Zealand has not been successful gaining the addition of a larger range of sanitisers to date and will resubmit comments to the draft.