South Africa and EU come to agreement on citrus fruit trapped in ports

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South Africa and EU come to agreement on citrus fruit trapped in ports

South Africa has come to an agreement with the European Union regarding the South African citrus fruit currently trapped in EU ports.

The South African Government said that South Africa had negotiated a settlement with the European Union to clear hundreds of shipping containers of citrus fruit stuck in EU ports, according to a report by Reuters.

"The interim measures provide that the consignments be treated at the cold treatment facilities in the EU and the department to notify other EU member states," South Africa's Department of Agriculture Affairs was quoted as saying in a statement.

It added that over 2,000 containers valued at an estimated 500 million rand ($31 million) were affected by this blockage.

Shipments were disrupted after the trade bloc implemented new phytosanitary rules that led to a WTO dispute being declared in July, the first-ever WTO dispute settlement case initiated by South Africa. 

The EU imposed the new measures over concerns it had with the False Codling Moth (FCM) on citrus fruit, with new measures including enhanced cold treatment for oranges and additional phytosanitary declarations for grapefruit and soft citrus.

The measures were published on June 21 and were set to come into force by June 24 when many shipments were already en route to Europe.

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