An agreement that clarifies the conditions of access of New Zealand apples into China has been signed in Wellington.
New Zealand has supplied apples to China for many years during its off-season. In 2008, China sought assurance that quarantine pests, including fireblight, would not enter the country via New Zealand apples.
Chinese and New Zealand quarantine authorities worked together on the agreement signed on Wednesday.
It includes provisions for initiating a joint investigation if a quarantine pest is found, rather than requiring an immediate shut-down of all apple exports.
Orchards and export facilities involved in apple export to China will be registered with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and must implement several good-practice systems.
MAF says it expects the agreement will lead to an increase in apple exports to China.