Taiwan imposes 'non-retaliatory' ban on Chinese frozen custard apples

01/19/2022 12:42 AM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday announced a ban on the importation of frozen custard apples from China, with immediate effect, a decision that the government said was "non-retaliatory," in the wake of China's prohibition last year of the fresh fruit from Taiwan.

The decision to halt imports of Chinese frozen custard apples is aimed at easing the pressure on local fruit farmers who have been affected by China's import ban, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said.

Taiwan has long had a ban on the importation of fresh custard apples from China, but not on frozen imports of the fruit, although there have not been any actual imports of the latter from China or any other country in recent years, according to the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA).

Following China's decision last September to ban Taiwan's fresh custard apples, however, imports of the frozen fruit from China will be formally prohibited, with immediate effect, the COA said, adding that the move was "non-retaliatory."

The ban is the result of the government's recent decision to independently categorize frozen custard apples, which were being imported into Taiwan under the broad category of frozen fruits and nuts, in order to allow for more detailed collection of statistics, the COA said.

That means applying the same trade rules to frozen and fresh custard apples, to maintain consistency, the COA said, adding that the suggestion came from the country's agricultural sector.

In 2021, Taiwan imported NT$1.05 million (US$37,720)-worth of unsweetened frozen fruits and nuts from China, a 20 percent annual decline, COA data showed.

(By Scarlett Chai, Yang Shu-min and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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