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Italian Kiwifruit May Now Be Exported to China by Reefer Ship

September 19, 2022

Fresh Italian kiwifruit may now be exported to China by refrigerated cargo ship, Chinese customs authorities announced on Sept. 7. Although the export of Italian kiwifruit to China in refrigerated containers was already permitted, the new regulations open up a new potential means of transport that makes use of specialized vessels mainly carrying refrigerated cargo and designed especially for transporting perishable goods.

The General Administration of Customs of China included in its Chinese-language announcement several requirements for this mode of shipping. First, the kiwifruit must be shipped in a dedicated hold, which cannot be opened prior to the shipment arriving at its designated port in China. The cargo must also be unloaded at its designated port. Furthermore, pest mitigation measures include a requirement that unless the kiwifruit in the shipment are packaged in sealed bags or fine mesh, each pallet must be wrapped in a mesh film with holes of less than 1.6 millimeters.

The kiwifruit must additionally undergo cold treatment, which can be carried out before shipment or during transit. At the port of entry, the shipper must provide a cold treatment report for each hold. If the GACC concludes that the cold treatment was not adequately completed for a particular hold, it may decide to return or destroy the fruit or require that it undergo another round of cold treatment.

Italy is one of the world’s leading producers of kiwifruit, with the annual season running from November to May. Nonetheless, despite some progress in recent years, China is not one of Italy’s main kiwifruit export markets, and annual export volumes of kiwifruit from Italy to China have been running at around 6,000 to 7,000 metric tons. This pales in comparison to the more than 160,000 metric tons of fresh kiwifruit exported from New Zealand to China. Zespri is known to use chartered reefer vessels to ship some of this volume. However, it remains to be seen whether exporters in Italy will also make use of this mode of shipping to China.

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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