South Africa imposes restrictions on citrus shipments to EU

More News Top Stories
South Africa imposes restrictions on citrus shipments to EU

Following eight reported detections of black spot, citrus arrivals from South Africa will undergo extensive restrictions in the European Union, according to Spain’s Young Farmer’s Association (Asaja) in Huelva.

Although the African nation has avoided a full suspension, shipments to the EU will be blocked from zones with the presence of black spot.grapefruit_55655155 small

Packing for the EU will continue in parts of the Western Cape and the Northern Cape that are free of the disease, Citrus Growers' Association of Southern Africa's CEO Justin Chadwick told website

Remaining fruit will be redirected to Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

As a vocal critic of South Africa, Asaja celebrated the restrictions, brought forth by a meeting Friday between the South African Ministry of Agriculture and European Union officials. The final decision to impose restrictions appears to have come from the South African ministry, Asaja reported.

The possibility of blocking South African citrus from the EU had been under debate since August when the African nation reached five black spot detections - the maximum limit set by the EU before cutting off South African arrivals.

"The precision exercised by ASAJA, just like the complaints voiced by diverse Spanish citrus representatives, continually more alarmed by the risk of a new and devastating disease, has finally pushed the South African Ministry of Agriculture and its citrus producers to suspend exports to Europe in an attempt to calm spirits and send an implicit message that they are willing to improve their level of plant health," ASAJA said in a public statement.

The decision has come late in the South African export season but the restrictions could still deal a blow to the nation's industry. Although still too early to say with certainty, an estimated two million boxes could be blocked for the European market, Chadwick said.

Regarding shipments from Argentina, Brazil and Bangladesh, which have also had black spot instances this season in the EU, Chadwick told that he could not comment but that Argentina had not be subjected to the same limit of five detections.

Related stories: Spanish association calls for action against South African citrus

South African citrus waits in limbo on EU market


Subscribe to our newsletter