Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Traders sour after export ban on limes


via CAAI

Monday, 28 March 2011 15:00 Sieam Bunthy

THE export of Cambodian limes into Thailand was banned at Chom International Gate in Oddar Meancheay on Friday following chemical concerns, an official said.

Lime exports were halted due to accusations over the level of chemicals contained in the citrus fruit, said the Cambodian chief of the border gate Neth Dara.

He added Thai authorities were also asking traders to pay a 30 percent tax on the fruit.

Exporters, who deny that their fruit has been treated, say they have lost out.

Citrus trader So Rath said he normally brings untreated fruit from Chba Ampov commune, in Phnom Penh, to the border. He has in the past imported 25 tonnes of limes at one time and said the ban had so far lost him 10 million riel (US$2,479).

So Rath, along with officials, have strongly denied any concerns over the fruit.

“They do not want us to export because our lemons have sold well,” he said.

While Neth Dara claimed that Cambodian lemons were cheaper and of better quality than their Thai equivalents.

Hong Va, Camcontrol’s official at Chom International Gate, also claimed that natively grown limes were chemical free.

Mao Thora, secretary of state for Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce, said that the ministry had yet to receive a complaint on the issue but would “cooperate with relevant institutions to solve [the issue] with Thailand”.

A representative from the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh was unavailable for comment last night.

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