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Parliamentary questions
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8 April 2019
E-000486/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000486/2019

Imports of citrus fruit from third countries into Spain in 2018 amounted to the following volumes (compared to 2017): oranges: 83 031 tonnes (-11%); lemons: 71 835 tonnes (+78%); small citrus: 7 709 tonnes (+361%).

In the framework of the Better Regulation Agenda, the Commission conducts economic and environmental impact assessments prior to any trade negotiation to identify possible problems and the best course of action.

The Commission applies strict sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements to imports of citrus from third countries. Citrus fruits from South Africa are subject to the specific import requirements of Decision (EU) 2016/715(1). Products imported into the EU must meet the same quality requirements as products originating in the EU. Imported products are subject to sanitary and phytosanitary controls for which the national administrations are responsible. From the end of 2019 onwards, a common regime for official controls(2) will be put in place to ensure a standardised and harmonised import control system.

Most EU trade agreements provide for safeguard measures in cases where imports of a specific product increase as to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the domestic industry or disturbances in the sectors or markets of agricultural products. At this stage, the Commission has no evidence that third country imports caused injury or created disturbance in the EU citrus market, which would have justified applying safeguard measures.

The Commission regularly monitors imports of citrus fruit from third countries to detect any possible market disturbance in the EU market and respond appropriately.

(1)Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/715 of 11 May 2016 setting out measures in respect of certain fruits originating in certain third countries to prevent the introduction into and the spread within the Union of the harmful organism Phyllosticta citricarpa (McAlpine) Van der Aa. OJ L 125, 13.5.2016, p. 16‐23.
(2)Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, amending Regulations (EC) No 999/2001, (EC) No 396/2005, (EC) No 1069/2009, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) No 1151/2012, (EU) No 652/2014, (EU) 2016/429 and (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 1/2005 and (EC) No 1099/2009 and Council Directives 98/58/EC, 1999/74/EC, 2007/43/EC, 2008/119/EC and 2008/120/EC, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC, 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC and Council Decision 92/438/EEC (Official Controls Regulation). OJ L 95, 7.4.2017, p. 1‐142.

Last updated: 9 April 2019Legal notice