Pakistani fruit and vegetable exports to Russia must now gain certification from a privately owned laboratory in Lahore in addition to clearance from the country’s plant protection department.
The All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has expressed concerns the new regulation will increase export costs and could lead to corruption within the industry.
In a letter to the ministry of commerce the PFVA wrote: “Designating a particular private lab would lead to monopoly and corruption. This will also cause serious consequences to exports to Russia.”
The letter also queried how a single laboratory in Lahore might handle the huge volumes of fruit and vegetables exported to Russia predominantly from Karachi.
A Russian inspection team in Pakistan during mid November stated the laboratory in question was the only one in the region with the requisite technical expertise.