ANNOUNCEMENT 13 Dec 2013
In December 2013, the European Commission announced an alteration to its import prohibitions.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
EC regulation 2013/754
On 13 December 2013, the European Commission announced regulation 2013/754 banning the imports of citrus products from certain areas of South Africa faced by the black spot disease.
Whereas the ban was argued to be due to health reasons, the European Food Safety Authority has meanwhile found out that the disease does not affect consumers. Furthermore, the citrus products from the endangered regions have been sold in other parts of South Africa during the last eight years without infecting the citruses grown there.
The director of Eosta, an importer of citrus products from South Africa and Europe, has mentioned in the company's press release that "South Africa and Spain are the largest citrus producers in the world. Seeing that only imports from South Africa are affected, one wonders if this is really a sanitary measure, or a disguised trade barrier. It looks a lot like the EU wanting to protect southern European citrus growers. At the same time one wonders why citrus from Argentina has not been stopped in spite of higher hit rates on smaller quantities." (cf. Sources)