In-transit cold treatment facilitates imports of South African fruits in India

A recent agreement between India and South Africa for in-transit cold treatment should benefit South African exporters of apples and pears.

The Indian Government has recently approved in-transit cold treatment for South African apple and pear exports to India. This bilateral agreement should ensure that better quality and fresher fruit arrives at the destination country. It also allows South African exporters to increase the length of the season. [1]


According to a recent research article, no international ‘cold treatment standard’ has been developed at the multilateral level. Consequently, cold treatment standards can only be developed through bilateral trade protocols. [2] The cold treatment protocol prescribed by the Indian Government for the import of South African fruits is detailed on the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) website. [3]

South African apples and pears trade data


According to industry estimates, sales of South African apples in India have increased since 2020 and the demand is growing year on year. [4]

In 2019, South Africa was ranked among the top ten global exporters of apples and pears, according to UN trade statistics. [5] In 2022, South Africa’s apple production is expected to rise for the fourth straight year to a record 1.2 million tonnes. This should boost exports to a record 625,000 tonnes. The production of pears is projected to reach 510,000 tonnes, for a third straight year of record output. [6]





[2] Lubello, P., & Codron, J. (2020). In-transit cold treatment: A case of institutional path dependence. Journal of Institutional Economics, 16(4), 463-479.  

[3] PPECB. Intransit Handling Protocol - HP37 – India

[5] United Nations. (2022). UN Comtrade: International Trade Statistics.

[6] USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Fresh Apples, Grapes, and Pears: World Markets and Trade. June 14, 2022.