Important notice to mango, citrus, capsicum (peppers) and peaches exporters to the EU

If you export mango, citrus, capsicum (peppers) and peaches to the EU, you have to make sure that your products comply with the recent EU legislation requirements on plant health. The EU has laid down new phytosanitary requirements to prevent the introduction and spread of organisms harmful to plants and plant products.

During the last months, the EU has declared as high-risk diverse pests[1] that can be present in mango, citrus, capsicum (peppers) and peaches. For this reason, EU authorities are carefully reviewing exports of these crops coming from non-EU countries and are taking temporary emergency measures such as new rules in the national assessments for ensuring export commodities are pest free, which needs to be reflected in the phytosanitary declarations issued by the National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPO).

Through the communication Directive 2019/253 the EU is providing four options that exporting countries must comply with at least one: (i) the country is recognized as being free from the specific pest; (ii) originate in an area established by the NPPO as free from the specific pest; (iii) originate in a place of production established by the NPPO in the country of origin as being free from the specific pest; (iv) have been subjected to an effective cold treatment to ensure freedom from the specific pest, or another effective treatment to ensure freedom from the pest, and the data should be indicated on phytosanitary certificates, with documentary evidence communicated in advance.

Most NPPOs have opted for a system approach, which is an integration of measures to meet phytosanitary import requirements, that considers a combined effect of both and both pre- and post-harvest procedures that may contribute to the effective management of pest risk, and can be less trade-restrictive.

Exporting country proposes measures that should be implemented within the territory of importing country and the importing country agrees, measures within the importing country may be combined in systems approaches. However if consignments of plants or plant products originating in a non-EU country might pose a risk to the EU, the member countries of the European Commission may take temporary emergency measures, which is currently happening with mango, citrus, capsicum (peppers) and peaches crops, stated in the EU Directive 2019/253

Currently, NPPOs and trade organizations are verifying of those extraordinary measures, specifically of the additional information required in phytosanitary certifications.

Key points to keep in mind if you are intending to export any of these commodities to the EU:

  • Verify through your country’s Plant Protection Organisation about the recent updates on phytosanitary certificates information and what information is required from the exporter side (cold storage use data, for instance).
  • If you are intending to issue a phytosanitary certificate soon, make sure it includes the specification around the pest-free measure applied. If a systematic approach is used in your country, make sure this is specified in the “additional declaration” and in the “treatment section”. In this last section is suggested to include details of the post-harvest measures applied, such as cold storage, with an indication of temperatures.
  • Monitor EU platform on plant health temporary emergency measures and interceptions to see if your crop species is subject to new additional controls and rejections.

Information sourced from COLEACP

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[1] High risk pests includes among others, fruit fly on mango and citrus, and false coddling moth on capsicumcitrus and peaches.