UAE – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced a temporary ban on frozen meat imports from Pakistan arriving by sea, citing concerns over sub-standard quality.

This decision has sent shockwaves through the meat export industry of Pakistan, prompting the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to actively address the issue.

The ban, enforced by the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, came into effect on October 10, 2023, after reports emerged of subpar quality meat shipments arriving in the UAE.

While the ban is currently set to last until at least October 10, the UAE has left the door open for air transport of meat from Pakistan under certain conditions.

According to the TDAP, meat destined for the UAE via sea must meet specific criteria to resume exports. These criteria include vacuum packaging and a minimum shelf life of 60 to 120 days from the date of slaughter. These measures aim to ensure the quality and safety of meat entering the UAE market.

Investigations into the sub-standard meat shipments have revealed that the issue may have arisen due to the inefficient or non-functional refrigeration systems in the reefer containers, which are the responsibility of shipping lines.

In response, exporters have initiated damage claims against the shipping lines involved in the transportation of the compromised meat.

The Pakistani Consulate in Dubai has taken an active role in engaging with various stakeholders to determine the root causes of this unfortunate incident.

The consulate aims to address the concerns raised by UAE authorities while strongly advocating for the lifting of the ban. Their efforts underscored Pakistan’s commitment to maintaining trade relations with the UAE while adhering to international standards of quality and safety.

In an official statement, the TDAP expressed optimism that constructive dialogue and cooperation between the two nations will lead to an amicable resolution.

“The goal is to facilitate the resumption of fresh chilled meat exports from Pakistan to the UAE, a vital economic lifeline for the Pakistani meat industry.”

Meanwhile, the ban has raised questions about the oversight and quality control measures in place along the entire meat export supply chain, from production to transportation.

The Pakistani government, along with industry stakeholders, is expected to work together to address these concerns and implement robust measures to prevent future incidents of sub-standard meat shipments.

As both countries continue to engage in discussions and investigations, the meat export industry in Pakistan remains hopeful for a swift resolution that will allow them to regain access to the lucrative UAE market.

The ban serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of maintaining and upholding international quality standards in the global meat trade.

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