50-2015 - Grain and Seed Exports Program – Lifting of ban on exporting Australian lentils to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
14 October 2015
To advise Australian exporters that the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has lifted the ban on the import of Australian lentils for consumption to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Australian lentil exports to Saudi Arabia were banned more than 20 years ago due to a consignment of lentils (Lens culinaris) being substituted with vetch (Vicia sativa). The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) and Pulse Australia have been negotiating with Saudi Arabia since 2007 to reach an agreement on conditions that would allow the trade to reopen. An agreement was reached and a trial shipment was sent to Saudi Arabia in 2008 and rejected on the basis that the import conditions were not finalised.
The department raised the issue with Saudi Arabia through the Agricultural Counsellor and the SFDA advised the department that the ban on exporting Australian lentils to Saudi Arabia was lifted on 12 August 2015.
Summary of changes and key points
Australian lentils can now be exported to Saudi Arabia under the following conditions:
- Consignments of Australian lentils exported to Saudi Arabia must be exported through the shortest possible route and must not be opened and/or re-packed in another country on the way to Saudi Arabia.
- Consignments must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate.
- Consignment must be accompanied by an Australian Government ‘Declaration and Certificate as to Condition’ certifying on the basis of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that the exported product is genuine lentils (Lens culinaris) and not vetch (Vicia sativa).
- Consignment must be accompanied by an Australian Government ‘Declaration and Certificate as to Condition’ certifying on provision of laboratory test results that the consignments meet Standardisation Organisation for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Standards (GSO 1357/2002).
- Consignments exported to Saudi Arabia must not be genetically modified (non-GMO). The department will issue a ‘Declaration and Certificate as to Condition’ confirming the non-GMO status of lentils produced in Australia exported to Saudi Arabia on request from the Australian exporters.
- To meet current Saudi Arabian sealing requirements, the department will ensure that the first container is sealed with red wax seal as well as internationally recognised high security bolt seal. If Saudi Arabian authorities are agree to the bolt seal, future will not require a red wax seal.
- A MICoR case has been published for Australian exporters specifying the new Saudi Arabian import conditions for Australian lentils.
- Must ensure that the lentils exported to Saudi Arabia are exported through the shortest possible route and must not be opened or re-packed in a third country on route to Saudi Arabia.
- Must obtain a ‘Declaration and Certificate as to Condition’ confirming the non-GMO status of lentils.
- Must provide PCR test report to the department to obtain a ‘Declaration and Certificate as to Condition’ certifying that the consignment is genuine lentils (Lens culinaris) and not vetch (Vicia sativa).
- Must provide a laboratory test analysis report to the department Authorised Officer to obtain a ‘Declaration and Certificate as to Condition’ certifying compliance with Saudi Arabian lentil standards GCC Standard No GSO 1357/2002.
- Ensure that the containers are sealed.
Authorised Officers responsibilities
- Must ensure that the all the laboratory reports are provided by the exporter prior to authorising the consignment.
If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email: Grain Export or phone 02 6272 3229.
Dr Chris Parker
Plant Export Operations Branch