The number of market access requests (MARs) that MPI receives from plant product exporters are often greater than can be progressed. At times they exceed MPI’s capacity to deal with them and often they exceed the target markets’ willingness/ability to consider them. MPI now has a documented prioritisation process to ensure transparent and consistent assessments of new MARs for plant products.
Note this process does not override the need for urgent assistance by MPI to sudden changes in a market’s import regulations which affect existing trade. In these instances where the problem is significant MPI will provide the necessary assistance immediately.
MPI completed its first prioritisation process in 2016. 16 applications for 15 different commodities to 6 countries were received. After scoring by an assessment panel 5 market access requests for 4 commodities were deemed a top priority and will be progressed as soon as each market is prepared to accept the new market access request.
Since MARs often take several years to complete a formal prioritisation process for new MARs will only be run periodically. MPI is streamlining the current process to provide greater definition on how regularly the process will be run . This should be available by mid 2017.
Once a request has been considered by this process it will be provided with one of the following priorities:
 For requests anticipated to take greater than 20 hours to resolve or those affecting other priorities in the market.