Northwest Horticultural Council
Thailand Implements New Rules to Test Imported Fresh Produce For Pesticide Residues
May 28, 2020
Current Situation: The Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new guidelines to test imported fresh produce for pesticide residues (for USDA report go here). The measures will be strictly implemented on June 15, 2020. The Thai FDA classifies imported produce based on their risk levels into three classifications: Very High Risk; High Risk; and Low Risk.
The Thai FDA considers cherries to be “High-Risk” *; there is a focus on residues of fenpropathrin (danitol) due to prior non-compliance findings. If the shipment is found to be noncompliant with the regulation, the Thai FDA will reject the shipment; and place the importer, exporter, and type of product (cherry) combination on a closely monitored list for three consecutive shipments.
- Exporter/importer combinations on the closely monitored list will have cherry shipments held and tested, using a default value of 0.01ppm for fenpropathrin.
Apples and pears are classified as Low Risk.
- Thai FDA announced the new maximum residue level (MRL) policy on May 20, 2020.
- A Thai FDA officer at the port of entry will take a sample from every shipment in the High-Risk group (cherries) to be tested at a government laboratory. The Thai FDA will be responsible for the lab testing expense.
- A noncompliance sample will place the exporter/importer combination on the closely monitored list.
- If the three consecutive shipments are compliant with the regulation, then the product from the specific importer/exporter will be removed from the close monitoring list. Otherwise, the exporter name and specific product type will be moved up to the “Very High Risk” group.
- Shipments received by any exporter identified as “Very High Risk,” faces greater scrutiny for testing of those product, g., fenpropathrin residues:
- The importers are responsible for the lab testing expense.
- The shipment will be detained while waiting for the test results.
- The Thai FDA will consider whether the shipment must be kept at the port or can be moved to the importers’ warehouse with the importer’s signed letter of intent.
- If the result is negative, the shipment will be released. Otherwise, the shipment will not be allowed to enter the country.
- If the importer does not want the shipment to be tested in Thailand, a Certificate of Analysis (COA) issued by a government laboratory of the exporting country, a government assigned lab, or a private laboratory complying with ISO/IEC 17025 can be used.
- A COA is required for 134 pesticide substances for any noncompliant exporter with the specific products listed in the aforementioned USDA report.
As of May 8, 2020, there were U.S. apple exporters on the list for noncompliant shipments with high MRLs for profenofos and endosulfan.
*High-Risk fresh fruits are cherries, oranges, strawberry, grapes, and dragon fruit.
Contact: For more information contact David Epstein, Vice President for Scientific Affairs, or Fred Scarlett, Vice President for Export Programs at (509) 453-3193.