At the end of January 2018, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) issued an announcement regarding import and export of banana plants in Laos.
According to the notice, China and Laos have signed a protocol that delineates inspection and quarantine requirements for Lao banana exports. Only bananas grown in Laos that meet these requirements will be cleared for export to China. This is the first time export standards have been established between the two countries since Laotian bananas were allowed to enter China through general trade in 2013.
The agreement dictates that bananas entering China from Laos must meet the following requirements: First, the harvesting time must be ten to eleven weeks after flowering. Ripe bananas will not be permitted entry into China. Second, banana exports must comply with Chinese phytosanitary regulations—i.e. bananas found with dangerous contaminates will be rejected. Third, banana exports shall not possess the rhizome (stem), leaves or soil during transportation. Four, delivery must be made to the designated location according to Chinese regulations.
The export of Lao bananas to China has grown significantly since 2013. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos, banana exports have become the largest source of Laos’ foreign exchange. According to customs data, in 2014, Laos exported