By The Nation
Surmsuk Salakpetch, director of the agriculture department, held a press conference on Tuesday after a Taiwan news report claimed that a container load of mangosteen exported from Thailand had been rejected for not meeting the agreed terms.
The problem was not caused by a quality problem related to the fruit, said Surmsuk, but rather a difference in the language regarding conditions and terms found in the agreement document. There were language variations between the English-language document of the Thai exporter and that of the Chinese language document seen by the Plant Protection Research and Development officer in Taiwan.
The Taiwan news report said fresh fruit from Thailand had been transported by air in a cargo container that lacked a lead seal, but also had a label announcing “TREATED-PQ-DOA-THAILAND”, which was against Taiwan’s regulations.
Surmsuk confirmed that the Thai exporter had used the sticker to meet the import conditions. In the case of the cargo number and lead seal, both Taiwanese and Thai officials had agreed before signing a phytosanitary certificate that the container number would only be used for sea transportation and not air transportation.
After acknowledging the problem, Thai plant quarantine officers and a Taiwanese plant quarantine officer who had come to Thailand checked the decontamination process mangosteen undergoes before being exported to Taiwan.
The exporting company also checked various details to ensure that the Taiwan Plant and Animal Disease Prevention and Quarantine Office’s regulations were followed, and immediately informed Taiwan of the import conditions that the Thai exporter follows in the English version, which were mutually agreed by both parties.
The rejected container lots were eventually accept by Taiwan, and the latest mangosteen container has not encountered any holdups. The Thailand’s Agriculture department has asked Taiwan to inspect the products under the same document conditions to prevent the problem from recurring.