Washington State Golden Again as State Apples can be Exported to China

Nov 04, 2014

Apple Industry Exports Valued at More than $6 Million


After two years of negotiations, China has agreed to lift the ban of apple imports from the state of Washington. The two-year ban had been placed on the Washington-origin apples based on pest concerns. Washington State apples account for 90 percent of US apple exports.

The suspension came from Chinas General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) in 2012 and affected the imports of Washington Red and Golden Delicious apples. The ban was put in place after three apple pests, considered to pose significant risk by AQSIQ , were found in several exports. The pests included speck rot, Sphaeropsis rot, and bull’s eye rot.

"USDA employees worked closely with the apple industry and China over a long period of time to achieve this market access," said Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We continue cultivating a strong relationship with China and paving the way for future bilateral trading opportunities."

The suspension was lifted by AQSIQ after the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), alongside the US apply industry, developed additional safeguarding measures that addressed Chinas concerns. The measures include the use of cold storage for apples, as well as visual inspections prior to shipping, to ensure pests have not contaminated the apple exports.

The removal of the suspension allows for continued apple market negotiations between China and the United States. In 2011, before the ban, the Chinese market for Washington State's apples was valued at $6.5 million.