Australia stays open for SA canned fruit

South African canned fruit will not have import duties imposed on it in Australia.

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This followed an investigation by the Australian Productivity Commission, which found that the requirements for introducing provisional safeguard measures in terms of the World Trade Organisation rules had not been met, reported Business Day.

Earlier this year, Australia said that it wanted a total ban on all canned-fruit products produced outside its borders. SA’s fruit industry supplies around 40% of Australia’s imported processed fruit. The products include canned citrus fruit, apricots, peaches, pears, mixed fruits and canned tomatoes.

Australian producer SPC Ardmona requested an import duty of 45%, or a quota on imports. The company argued that the appreciation of the Australian dollar made imports cheaper and eroded local suppliers’ market share. But, according to the evidence, imports had in fact declined in most instances, and where there was an increase, it was not significant.

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