Pakistan temporarily allows import of fruits, vegetables from Afghanistan

Torkham crossing, Nangarhar province. File photo.

Pakistani customs officials granted clearance for the import of fruits and vegetables from Afghanistan at the Torkham crossing on Wednesday morning.

This clearance comes with a temporary waiver of the Plant Protection Quarantine Certificate (PPQC) requirement, effective until October 2, as reported by Pakistani media.

Officials explained that this decision was made in consultation with both civil and military authorities due to the substantial financial losses suffered by local importers. Additionally, there is a lack of adequate plant protection staff and quarantine facilities at the border.

According to reports, nearly 200 vehicles, primarily transporting fruits and vegetables, were stranded on the Afghanistan side of the border when Pakistan imposed the PPQC requirement for the clearance of all imported food items from its neighboring country.

“Loaded vehicles were permitted clearance under an urgent release order (RO), while an extension order regarding the PPQC waiver until October 2 will be issued at a later time,” officials stated as quoted by Pakistani media.

The introduction of the new PPQC requirement, though announced by the federal government a few months ago, had not been fully implemented.

However, it was met with shock and anger on Monday by local importers, clearing agents, and transporters. They were left with no alternative but to endure extended delays in the hot weather, leading to the deterioration of their merchandise.