Panama Opens Doors To Seed Potatoes

Published online: Sep 10, 2004 NPC
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National Potato Council along with the United States Promotion Board made announcement this morning that Panama has signed the U.S.Seed Potato Market Access protocol.

The document was completed and forwarded to the U.S. Embassy in Panama City. It provides clear and attainable requirements for seed exports to Panama.

John Toaspern, U.S. Potato Board vice president of International Marketing, said it is the result of the market development work that the Board has been doing. "It was critical this agreement was signed in order to maintain our momentum," he added.

U.S. potato seed exporters can ship to Panama with little difficulty. While an import permit will still be required, issuance will be routine. Now the USDA will be able to issue required phytosanitary certificates with ease as the controversial requirements that caused shipping delays last year have been addressed.

The shipping requirements were entered into the USDA's Excerpt export requirements database this week.

John Keeling, NPC executive director, said it was another victory for the NPC, USPB and state potato organizations' phytosanitary initiative.