Northwest Horticultural Council
Thailand Implements New Rules to Test Imported Fresh Produce For Pesticide Residues
Current Situation: The Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new guidelines to test imported fresh produce for pesticide residues. The measures will be implemented on August 1, 2020. The Thai FDA categorizes imported produce based on their perceived risk levels into three classifications: Very High Risk; High Risk; and Low Risk.
The Thai FDA categorizes cherries as “High-Risk*”; there is a focus on residues of fenpropathrin (Danitol 2.4EC) due to prior non-compliance findings. If the shipment is found to be noncompliant for pesticide residues, the Thai FDA will place the exporter’s name on a “Very High Risk” list. You can access the “List of Imported Vegetables and Fruits that Failed to Meet the Quality Standards Testing Fiscal Year 2020” on the Thai FDA’s website to identify exporters listed in the “Very High Risk” here. To learn more about Thailand’s revised pesticide residue monitoring procedures see the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) GAIN report here.
- Exporters whose names are on the “Very High Risk” list will have cherry shipments held and tested by the Thai FDA, using a default value of 0.01 ppm for fenpropathrin, paraquat, chlorpyrifos, and glyphosate
Apples and pears are classified as Low Risk.
- On July 21, 2020, the Thai FDA announced that cherry shipments no longer require a Certificate of Analyses (COA) for 134 pesticides. Shipments from exporters on the “Very High Risk” list will be detained (at port, or in importer’s warehouse with the importer’s signed letter of intent) and tested for only the problematic pesticides determined to be “High Risk” table (chlorpyrifos, fenpropathrin, glyphosate, and paraquat) by the Thai FDA.
- A Thai FDA officer at the port of entry will conduct random samples from shipments in the “High-Risk” group (sweet cherry) to be tested at a government laboratory. The Thai FDA will be responsible for the lab testing expense.
- If the importer does not want the shipment to be tested in Thailand, the importer must present a COA for Thai-determined “High Risk” pesticides (chlorpyrifos, fenpropathrin, glyphosate, and paraquat) for every shipment. The COA must be 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 (see footnote).
- A non-compliant sample will place an exporter on the “Very High Risk” list.
- If three consecutive shipments are compliant with the regulation, then the product from the specific exporter will be removed from the close monitoring list. The exporter, or importer, must notify the Thai FDA that they wish to be delisted before testing of the three consecutive shipments to qualify. To learn more, see the USDA FAS Gain report here.
- Shipments received from an exporter listed as “Very High Risk,” face greater scrutiny for testing of their 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.
- Exporters on the “Very High Risk” list can keep exporting fresh produce to Thailand by supplying a COA for each shipment. This method does not delist the exporter’s name.
- “High-Risk” fresh fruits are cherries, oranges, strawberry, grapes, and dragon fruit.