Outward Egyptian mission offers reassurance on future trade

Friday, 29 March 2019

AHDB’s Rob Burns and John Ellicott from SASA recently returned from an outward mission to Egypt where they met with the Head of CAPQ, Dr Ahmed, to discuss the past season, the coming season and issues around Brexit.

Rob explains: “We confirmed that UK trading position with Egypt is secure after Brexit as legislation allows imports from all countries in continental Europe regardless of EU membership. However, the tariff situation has not yet been clarified as this will be agreed as part of a larger trade deal between UK and Egypt.

“CAPQ made it clear that continued trade with UK is a priority for them and Scotland was again the largest exporter to Egypt in the last season with minimal rejection and very good quality.”

Dr Ahmed said that CAPQ intends to discontinue the current annual decree in favour of a long term plant health order which would fix tolerances, although emergency amendments could take place if pest or disease outbreaks warranted them. The decree which with authorises this change will be published in the next few weeks and we will circulate it to Scottish exporters.

This season tolerances will be the same as those for 2018/19 season. There will be no changes to the tolerances for black dot or silver scurf as CAPQ feels that seed treatments pre export should prevent issues with silver scurf developing in transit.

“While CAPQ will continue to accept all virus tolerances as per the standard UK regulations, they do intend to conduct random field inspections for virus in crops intended for export to Egypt.” Rob says. “This is unlikely to begin this year as they don’t yet have the legislative capability to enforce this yet.

“We also discussed tuber size and Dr Ahmed explained that this was not part of the plant health decree but under control of the certification committee which he also attends. It is likely that the maximum seed size will be 55 mm with which could be relaxed when supplies are short.”

The AHDB export team's next outward mission is to China in the second week of April, a further report will be circulated on their return.

This story was taken from our Seed Export newsletter, for more information please contact Margaret Skinner - margaret.skinner@ahdb.org.uk.