Turkey’s recent import restrictions on live animals and animal products will have little effect on Cambodian exports, senior officials have said.
Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has released an associated list of restricted import items, prepared in accordance with World Organization for Animal Health recommendations as well as relevant health regulatory frameworks, the Ministry of Agriculture said. trade to Cambodian producers and exporters in a June 20 notice. .
Quoting Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Penn Sovicheat confirmed to The Post that the items would not be banned outright, but simply subject to restrictions and conditions established to prevent outbreaks of diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.
Some of the items affected are wildlife, dairy milk and cream, frozen meats and products made from animal skin, offal, blood or nails, all of which have been linked to foot-and-mouth disease, did he declare.
He pointed out that Turkey had introduced similar restrictions in the past, which he said are designed to protect the local market and prevent diseases from spreading to other countries.
Sovicheat claimed the Kingdom would only be indirectly affected by the move. “We don’t have a big volume of trade with Turkey yet, and in Cambodia we don’t export a lot of these products either,” he said.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Veng Sakhon echoed Sovicheat’s comments that Cambodian exports to Turkey would be largely unaffected by the move, pointing out that meat exports from the Cambodia have remained rather insignificant over the years, despite the free trade agreements signed by the Kingdom.
He noted that exports are subject to international animal transport laws and regulations and that certification is required from the exporting country which guarantees that the shipments do not pose a significant risk of introducing infectious diseases.
Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath praised the Ministry of Commerce’s notice for its clear communication of the new export conditions, calling for their wide dissemination.
“When exporters disregard these measures, it could lead to non-exportable production,” he warned.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, in the first five months of this year, Cambodian exports to Turkey exceeded $4 million, up nearly 70% year-on-year, and imports exceeded $1 million, although they are down more than 14% compared to the same period last year.