March 26th, 2014
Five categories of produce from India will be banned in the European market following serious concerns about high levels of contamination, mainly from non-European fruit flies.
The ban, set to take place in May, will include mangoes, eggplants, the taro plant and two types of gourd, an EU release announced today.
The “emergency measures” come after a meeting among member states in Brussels just a few hours ago.
“The measures prohibit the import of some fruit and vegetables from India to tackle the significant shortcomings in the phytosanitary certification system of such products exported to the E.U.
“This decision had to be taken due to the high number of such consignments being intercepted at arrival in the E.U. with quarantine pests, mainly insects, like non-European fruit flies,” the release said.
“Though the prohibited commodities represents less than 5% of the total fresh fruits and vegetables imported into the E.U. from India, the potential introduction of new pests could pose a threat to E.U. agriculture and production.”
Pests were discovered in 207 consignments of fresh produce imported to Europe from India last year.
The ban will last until Dec. 31, 2015 when a review is scheduled to take place.
The EU’s decision will be a blow particularly for the country’s mango exporters who had been eyeing new deals in the European market with plans to increase supply of the country’s “king of fruits” over coming years.
Related story: India tightens rules to dodge EU produce export ban