Sudan banned Egyptian agricultural and animal products to access its land on Tuesday, and it stated that any goods that enter Sudan through Egypt (even if coming from another nation) are to be diverted directly to Sudan and not cross Egyptian borders.
Egyptian sources said that Sudan’s decision is mainly political due to tensions between Cairo and Khartoum during the last period.
President of the Chamber of Food Industries at the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) Mohammad Shokry called on the Ministry of Industry to intervene in this regard to resolve the problem.
Shokry explained that things have become clear in the past period after blocking many products more than a month ago, especially strawberries, since other countries did not complain that they are bad products.
Saeed El Mashad, chairperson and managing director of White Land Company, said that the products exported to Sudan are received by other markets. There are no problems with the Egyptian products exported to them. The problem is only about specifications.
He pointed out that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia raised the standards of their imports of food to the levels of the European Union countries at the beginning of this year, and Egypt exports its products to them more than Sudan. Complaints were temporary.
In March, the Sudanese government decided to ban the importation of agricultural products made in Egypt because of the concerns about safety and public health, according to what was said at that time.
Sudanese prime minister Bakri Hassan issued a statement on Tuesday on the website of the cabinet, in which he decided to approve the recommendations of the technical committee about following up with banning Egyptian agricultural products crossing ports and borders located inside the customs barns.
Hassan requested making inventory on goods originating in Egypt, such as milk, sugar, tea, and oil, noting the type, size, importer, and the date of their arrival to the Sudanese ports and then submitting them to the presidency and the cabinet.
The cabinet decided to stop the importation of any seeds or seedlings from Egypt and to take all necessary precautions.
According to the Sudanese cabinet’s bulletin, they called on the union of employers to import goods directly from the origin without crossing Egypt and to restrict imports from Egypt and close customs barns in front of any Egyptian imports issued in the decision.
Hassan stopped any inspection on the entries in the dry ports of Soba, Ubaidiya, Karima, and others, stating that the examination will only be at the borders of the country.
A source at the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture said that Sudan renewed the ban on the entry of vegetables, fruits, and fish imported from Egypt at the beginning of May.
He explained that the Sudanese Specifications and Standards Authority issued controls that prevented importers and exporters from dealing with Egypt on 17 different commodities.
The list included used newspapers, fireworks, spare parts made of used rubber and plastics, used tyres, engines that lack basic data indicating origin, electronic devices, and used medical and mechanical equipment.
The ministry’s official spokesperson, Hamed Abdel Dayem, said that the ministry is currently preparing to hold talks between the two parties, and they will reach a decision on this at a governmental level within hours.
Sources from Egyptian companies exporting products to Sudan said that they will study the situation and how to overcome the problem in the coming days.