No EU ban on SA citrus imports

2014-04-30 11:26

The agriculture department has dismissed reports that the European Union has proposed dropping a ban on importing South African citrus fruit, saying there was no ban.

“In our understanding, there has never been a ban on SA citrus exports to the EU,” spokesperson Palesa Mokomele said today.

She said the EU’s Standing Committee on Plant Health (SCPH) had been discussing the strengthened EU phyto-sanitary measures over the past few weeks.

One of the discussion points was the revised measures for South Africa’s citrus products entering the EU.

Mokomele said South Africa had always maintained that although it differed with the EU on the risk of the citrus black spot (CBS) disease, it would continue to work with authorities to comply with EU conditions.

“At the moment, we do not have official communication of what the revised measures would be, we’re expecting to be informed of such as soon a decision is reached by the SCPH,” she said.

Several newspapers reported today that the EU proposed dropping a ban on importing South African citrus fruit.

In November, the EU stopped importing citrus fruit from South Africa as there were concerns that CBS could infect local crops.

About 70% of the EU’s citrus consumption comes from South Africa.

In June, South Africa’s ambassador to Belgium, Mxolisi Nkosi, said the EU wanted to stop importing citrus fruit from South Africa. He said the EU was increasingly using protectionism to block certain imports.

The citrus sector contributed about R6 billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product, he said at the time.

Citrus harvesting and production in most of Europe has declined due to weather conditions. South Africa is the world’s biggest exporter of oranges and the largest shipper of grapefruit. In 1993, the EU declared CBS a phyto-sanitary measure.

This meant that it was placed on a trade watch-list at EU borders. If spotty fruit was found, the consignment would be impounded. This reduced the size of citrus shipments entering the EU.

The EU could not immediately be reached for clarity or comments.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.