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WTO to review China's ban on Taiwanese fruit imports

Organization to address Taiwan’s specific trade concern during the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee’s routine meeting

File photo of Taiwanese wax apples.

File photo of Taiwanese wax apples. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan New) — World Trade Organization (WTO) Communications Officer Fernando Puchol confirmed that Taiwan’s specific trade concern (STC) regarding China’s suspension of Taiwanese fruit imports will be reviewed by the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Committee during its November meeting.

This is the first time that Taiwan has filed an STC on China’s ban of Taiwanese fruits, per CNA. According to WTO rules, STCs are filed during SPS meetings when WTO members are unable to resolve issues after a period of negotiations.

Under this mechanism, when a party files the STC, the other party must respond to its concerns at the meeting and begin a bilateral discussion. However, if the filing party still receives no response, it may escalate the case as a dispute.

In March 2021, China suspended Taiwan’s pineapple imports due to allegedly finding “multiple cases of pests,” while in September, China announced the suspension of Taiwan’s sugar apple and wax apple imports, citing the same reason. Though the Council of Agriculture (COA) demanded that China provide evidence to justify the ban, China never responded, CNA reported.

COA Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said Chinese authorities notified the COA about its policy with merely one sheet of paper detailing the number of products that failed inspection, the dates, and item names, and did not provide any photo or scientific evidence. In response to complaints, the COA had improved its inspection measures multiple times, but they were not enough to change China’s decision, CNA cited Chen as saying.

Updated : 2022-01-25 02:03 GMT+08:00