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Parliamentary questions
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12 June 2019
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-001897/2019

The EU has high phytosanitary standards, which apply both to products originating in the EU and to products imported into the EU. Within the EU as well as in countries exporting agri-food to the EU, the Commission carries out audits, inspections and other activities such as training, aimed at ensuring that EU legislation on food and feed safety, animal health, animal welfare, plant health is properly implemented and enforced. In addition, controls are carried out at the EU border and on the EU territory by Member States’ competent authorities to ensure the respect of the sanitary and phytosanitary standards.

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. On the basis of the information available to the Commission, the start of the 2018 citrus campaign in southern Europe was sluggish for a number of reasons unrelated to imports(1). The Commission has not received any formal request or evidence that would allow launching an investigation prior to triggering safeguard measures or any other trade defence instruments.

(1)These include: delays in the early fruit harvest, abundance of small sizes of fruit caused by the prolonged summer heat, low demand in much of Europe due to hot weather in early autumn, heavy rainfall and floods, phytosanitary problems in certain producing regions, and blockades on the French border.

Last updated: 13 June 2019Legal notice