Ongoing battle over goodsSaudis impose embargo on Yemeni produce [Archives:2005/814/Front Page]

February 7 2005

Saudi border authorities are refusing to allow Yemeni agricultural produces to enter the Saudi Kingdom, claiming that the materials are spoiled by diseases and insects.

That follows reports published by the Saudi 'Alwatan' magazine about unsanitary conditions in Yemen.

Meanwhile, Sana'a is forbidding Saudi goods from entering its markets as a reaction to the Saudi decision on refusing the Yemeni agricultural produce.

Sources said at the end of last week that a responsible official of the Yemeni Haradh Customs in the border declared that they have stopped Saudi goods and products from entering into Yemen as a reaction from the Yemeni authorities.

“This is not the first time for such procedures, as we adopt the policy of similarity in treatment. We had stopped tens of Saudi trucks from entering into Yemen lands until cancellation of the embargo imposed on our products”, said the Yemeni boundary Customs responsible official.

A higher level responsible official in the Yemeni Agricultural Ministry, in a press declarations, said: “There is no reason justifying the Saudi step as we continue to solve the problem through the diplomatic channels. ”

And as a result, the official responsible expressed his regret towards the aggressive action taken upon the Yemeni sellers.

They were allegedly chased in markets and streets of Saudi, and forced to return to the boundary inlets, accompanying their goods.

“As claimed by the authorities of the Kingdom, Yemenis irrigate some goods using waste waters. It is really a strange point, as the farms are located in Tehama desert, and there is no waste water institutions. So from where do the farmers bring the sanitary waters?” said one Yemeni official.

An official press release said, “There is no any custom fees between Yemen and the Saudi so as to compel the Yemeni farmers to escape. The selling operations run through the agents of the wholesales markets. We confirmed that the Yemeni products are exported to the European markets but no any complaint received regarding disease affecting any product.”

The Saudi action came up after Yemeni authorities stopped the import of some vehicle engines and oils, since they don't meet the Yemeni standards.

Consumers Protection Society said, “There is rampant cheating in the oil substances, some of which lead to breaking down the vehicles engines. This is taking place while 90% of the Gulf oils enter the Yemeni markets.”

Saudi's “Alwatan” magazine previously mentioned, “That the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture imposed an embargo on a number of Yemeni agricultural products and yields that come into Saudi Arabia, and have confirmed to all the Ministry branches in the southern zones to chase the Yemeni sellers in the markets and on the roads and turn them back to the borders, or confiscate the produce.”