Apr 27, 2005
Taiwan Reopens Borders to U.S. Apples

U.S. apple exports to Taiwan, cut off since last December after codling moth larvae were found, were allowed to resume April 27, according to notice given April 26 by the government of Taiwan.

In a letter from the economic division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Francis Liang said “the U.S. apple industry should address concerns identified by BAPHIQ (in an) on-site verification visit of March 13-19, 2005, and strictly follow the newly amended ‘Systems Approach Work Plan for the Exportation of Apples from the United States to Taiwan.’” BAPHIQ is the Taiwanese Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

The work plan outlines the procedures that must be in place to assure that no live codling moth larvae arrive in Taiwan in apples imported from the United States.

The notice restores an important market for West Coast apples, especially large Fujis. The suspension hit Washington particularly hard, since Taiwan is the state’s top export market. It exports about 2 million boxes of apples to Taiwan in a normal year.

Taiwan suspended imports from the United States on Dec. 21, 2004, just as the peak shipping season was starting, after a codling moth larva was found in a shipment from Oregon.

BAPHIQ had previously found codling moths in three separate shipments from Washington and California on Sept. 1, Oct. 7 and Oct. 14. The last two discoveries were counted as one incident. Taiwan and the United States had agreed two years earlier to a “three strikes and out” policy; three codling moth finds trigger a halt to exports. This was the second time exports had been stopped because of codling moth findings. The previous stoppage was two years earlier.

Shipments were halted in December and were to last until U.S. shippers found a protocol that Taiwan would accept. Taiwanese protocols against codling moths are stringent because apples and pears are grown there in an environment now free of the pest.

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