Arbil postpones code on poultry product imports
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Iraq, particularly polticially-stable northern region under Kurdish administration, is an important exports market for the Turkish poultry products and egg producers.
The northern Iraqi administration has postponed a demand requiring a group of certifications for poultry and egg imports, which is good news for Turkish producers, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said in a written statement yesterday.
The Kurdish Regional Government postponed a regulation that requires a certificate of plant health or veterinary certificate for food imports, as well as certification that they do not contain genetically modified organisms, melamine, dioxin or lard by Jan. 1, 2013, said Çağlayan.
Noting that Iraq is the most important market for Turkey in terms of poultry meat and egg exports, Çağlayan said Turkey sold $192 million of poultry meat and $163 million of eggs to Iraq in the first seven months of the year, a large portion of which went to the north of the country under Kurdish administration. Turkey’s total poultry products and egg exports were $276 million and $179 million respectively in the same period.
The Kurdistan Regional Government introduced the certificate requirement for food imports on July 1 this year for the first time. But the regulation was postponed after the efforts of the Ministry of Economy to July 15 and then to Sept. 1 due to difficulties at customs gates, Çağlayan said.
However there are still ambiguities regarding the scope and codes of practice of the regulation, Çağlayan said, adding that related public institutions and sectoral organizations continue with their preparations to comply with import requirements. The Ministry of Economy asked the Kurdish Regional Government to postpone the deadline once again as the Turkish poultry product and egg exporters had not been ready by the previous deadline of Sept. 1, he said.
An important food market
The total exports to Iraq between January and July increased 37.2 percent year-on-year reaching $5.96 billion, he said.
“Iraq is in third place in terms of Turkey’s largest export markets, according to the data. Turkish food exports to Iraq increased 36.8 percent to $1.93 billion in the same period. This figure makes up nearly 23 percent of the total agricultural exports of Turkey, $8.46 billion. Most of the food exports to Iraq go to northern Iraq. Work to prevent any possible difficulties in the Iraqi market, which has an important place in Turkey’s food product exports, is ongoing. All measures will be taken regarding the regulations that the Kurdish Regional Government plans to introduce in 2013 and the exporters will be informed accordingly,” he said.