29 Jan 2011

No more barriers on apple exports to Australia

6:29 pm on 29 January 2011

Pipfruit New Zealand says there has been progress in sorting out the detail of exporting apples to Australia.

In December, the World Trade Organisation upheld a decision it made last August, that Australia broke international trade rules with its restrictions on importing apples from New Zealand.

The decision means Australia has to review its import risk analysis for New Zealand apples and negotiate a new set of conditions.

It ended a dispute that had been going on between the two countries since 1921, when Australia banned imports of apples from New Zealand after the bacterial disease fireblight was found on apple trees in the Auckland region.

Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive Peter Beaven says he's been in contact with Australian industry officials since Christmas and planning for a meeting is underway.

He says he detects a greater willingness from Australian officials and barriers are no longer being put in the way of imports of apples.