Europe's new phytosanitary rules - CBI report - FreshFruitPortal.com

New EU phytosanitary import rules had "significant consequences" for industry

New phytosanitary import regulations introduced by Europe in December 2019 have had "significant consequences" for plant protection organizations and fresh fruit exporters, according to a report.

The Netherlands' Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI) said the new rules require all plants and living plant parts from non-EU countries to have a phytosanitary certificate.

This guarantees they have been properly inspected, are free from quarantine pests and are in line with EU plant health requirements. Only five fruits do not require a phytosanitary certificate for import: pineapple, banana, coconut, durian and dates.

The new rules require action from producers, exporters and the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO).

Authorities in producing countries also have to be able to declare a region pest-free or check on specific areas and product treatments. There is priority for pests that have the most severe impact on the EU territory. These are Xylella fastidiosa, the Japanese beetle, the Asian long-horned beetle, Citrus greening and Citrus Black Spot.

One of the other serious threats is the non-European fruit fly (Tephritidae), common in high-risk fruit such as mangoes. For exporters, physical plant heath controls and hydrothermal treatments prior to export will have to become standard practice. Exporters must be aware of this when entering the European market for mangoes, the CBI report said.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that every year up to 40% of food crops are lost due to plant pests and diseases. This is one of the reasons why the FAO declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH).

"One can only hope that all this attention will lead to more concrete help in prevention. This includes implementing integrated pest management (IPM) and complying to the stricter regulations," the report said.

"European importers understand the need for strict phytosanitary control. At the same time, they are concerned that many of their supplying countries are not ready for the stricter regulations. This emphasises the need for exporters to prepare well when entering the European market."

You can find additional tips and information about how to prepare yourself in CBI’s study on buyer requirements