NZ awaits WTO decision on apple exports
The Government is expected to hear at the end of next month the World Trade Organisation decision on New Zealand efforts to export apples to Australia.The World Trade Organisation (WTO) decision is on New Zealand's bid to overturn an 89-year Australian
The Government is expected to hear at the end of next month the World Trade Organisation decision on New Zealand efforts to export apples to Australia.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) decision is on New Zealand's bid to overturn an 89-year Australian ban on New Zealand apple imports, an industry website Fruitnet.com reported. It was initially imposed because of the perceived risk of spreading a bacterial disease, fireblight.
In 2007 Biosecurity Australia said it would end the ban -- after New Zealand scientists showed clean, mature fruit was unlikely to carry fireblight -- but replaced it with quarantine restrictions so tight New Zealand orchardists said trans-Tasman shipment of apples would be uneconomic.
Last July a WTO panel of experts reviewed the issues, and was expected set to make a decision in November, but the judgement was put off for another two months.
The decision has been further put off until March, when the WTO panel will release a report to the two governments for comment.
"We're waiting on the WTO report due at the end of March. We won't get a public release until the middle of year," Pipfruit NZ chief executive Peter Beaven told Fruitnet.com. He blamed a lack of resources at the WTO secretariat.
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