Vietnam has been able to resume the export of certain fruits to the US, after reopening irradiation facilities closed by Covid-19 complications.
These facilities were closed in August when the US irradiation experts required to oversee operations were unable to travel to Vietnam as flights in and out of the US were cancelled due to Covid-19.
According to a report from Vietnam News, Hoang Trung, head of Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department (PPD), told a press conference it had been working with the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the US embassy to resume exports and prevent any further disruptions.
Initially, APHIS personnel stationed in Vietnam returned to the US in March and staff at the US embassy were authorised to temporarily oversee the process, but this stopped a month ago.
Now the PPD, APHIS and US embassy have worked together to bring an inspector back to Vietnam to continue an on-going pre-clearance programme.
The report said around US$20m worth of dragon fruit, rambutan, longan, lychee, star apple, and mango are exported each year under the programme, which has been in place since 2008.
The reopened facility will also provide benefits to exporters targeting markets such as Australia and New Zealand also require irradiation.