South Africa suspends some citrus exports to EU
The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) of Southern Africa said the decision was made at a special meeting of the CBS (citrus black spot) Committee last week, after consulting widely with all stakeholders.
The Committee decided to recommend the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) proactively suspend the export of citrus fruit to the EU, with the exception of soft citrus and Kumquats, as well as exports from the CBS-free Western and Northern Capes.
"The CGA has recommended that DAFF stop inspecting citrus fruit destined for the EU at end of business on Thursday 17th September 2015," CEO Justin Chadwick said in a newsletter.
"As an additional measure of risk mitigation, CGA has presented a program of pre-import DAFF inspections in the EU through one port [Rotterdam] to address any possible perceived risk associated with 'floating consignments' that will leave SA after inspections stop on 17th September and EU market closure.
"The South African citrus industry hopes that this decision keenly demonstrates our commitment to meeting the EU's requirements and keeping the market open."
There has been an ongoing disagreement between the EU and South Africa over the potential risks associated of CBS being transmitted via fruit since 1992, which is causing irritation within the industry.
Last month the European Standing Committee on Plant Health decided not to immediately impose further measures against South Africa, despite some concern from the committee over CBS interception numbers.