The General Directorate of Agriculture has called on exporters and importers of red corn to comply with Thailand’s new requirements concerning cross-border commercial activities.

The directorate cited letter No AC: 0914/1629 dated April 20 issued by the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives’ Department of Agriculture, which it said outlines new conditions for the export of red corn kernels from Cambodia to Thailand, effective immediately.

“All companies that are, or are intending to export corn kernels must comply with the new conditions, including obtaining an import permit from the Thai Department of Agriculture in advance,” it said. “Corn kernels should be transported from Cambodia to Thailand by land or sea.”

Corn kernels must be clean and free from contaminants, spoilage and other biosecurity risks, packed in clean and new packaging, and undergo methyl bromide fumigation before going to Thailand, it said, adding that a fumigation declaration must be included on the phytosanitary certificate for each consignment.

The merchandise must be shipped in containers or other suitable cargo transport units, it said, adding that consignments transported in smaller trucks must be sealed or covered with canvas or similar material for phytosanitary security.

Mok Saryda, president of MJ, an agricultural exporter to Thailand and Vietnam, told The Post that she had not been notified of the new conditions, but noted that she had stopped placing orders for red corn with local farmers as Thailand tightened border restrictions amid rising Covid-19 cases there.

“When Covid-19 improves and the border is reopened, I will resume the export of red corn and other agricultural products to Thailand,” she said, adding that her company has always adhered to Thailand’s guidelines on transport and standards.

The directorate added that, prior to loading or unloading cargo, Cambodian phytosanitary officials must inspect shipping containers or small trucks to ensure that they are clean, free from soil, sand, contaminated plant material, or other dirty matter.

It warned that Thai phytosanitary officers stationed at border checkpoints will inspect products entering Thailand, and reserve the right to refuse entry to, treat, or destroy them on a per case basis.

The Kingdom exported 140,669.13 tonnes of corn in the first half of this year, an increase of 176.44 per cent year-on-year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reported.

The Vietnamese market bought the most at 97,580 tonnes, followed by Thailand’s (42,350 tonnes), Taiwan’s (676.13 tonnes), Bangladesh’s (42 tonnes) and South Korea’s (21 tonnes).