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Plant health (15-04-2016)

Emergency measures for the import of citrus fruit from several non-EU countries

Member State experts today endorsed emergency measures proposed by the Commission, with stricter requirements for the importation citrus fruit from Brazil, South Africa and Uruguay.  The measures are intended to increase the protection against fruits contaminated with citrus black spot, a harmful plant disease not native to Europe.

Citrus black spot, caused by the fungus Phyllosticta citricarpa is a plant disease which attacks citrus plants causing high losses to citrus fruit production. It is not contagious for human health. The EU is free from citrus black spot but it is present in non-EU countries from which it imports. Given the interceptions of infected citrus fruit from South Africa and Brazil the existing stricter requirements for these countries are maintained, and Uruguay is added to this list due to the high number of interceptions in 2015.

Specific conditions are foreseen concerning the importation, movement, storage or processing of citrus fruits destined exclusively for processing into juice.

In the case that more interceptions are made in the coming months showing the presence of citrus black spot, the emergency measures may be reviewed.