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Parliamentary questions
16 May 2018
E-001168/18E-001328/18
Joint answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Written questions: E-001168/18 , E-001328/18

The Commission is aware of the increased number of interceptions of citrus black spot on citrus fruits during the 2017 export season, the majority of which originating in South Africa. The Commission has signalled the problem to the competent authorities of South Africa and has insisted that remedial actions are taken to avoid that this happens again in the 2018 trade season. In response, the South African authorities informed the Commission that the citrus black spot risk management system for the current growing season has been upgraded and includes concrete commitments such as the close monitoring of the spraying programme for the orchards and an official inspection of the orchards close to harvesting time. This revised approach has been discussed with Member States representatives during meetings of the relevant section of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.

The Commission monitors closely the situation, together with the Member States, in order to assess in a timely manner whether additional actions concerning the import of citrus fruits from South Africa (or any other country) is justified for the 2018 export season, in addition to the existing emergency measures.

The Economic Partnership Agreement currently binding the EU and six countries of the Southern African Development Community, South Africa included, can be suspended or terminated only in very specific circumstances as described in Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement(1) and in accordance with the procedure established therein. While interceptions concerning sanitary and phytosanitary requirements do not fall under the remittance of Article 96, they are subject to regular discussions in the fora set up by the Economic Partnership Agreement.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/regions/african-caribbean-and-pacific-acp-region/cotonou-agreement_en

Last updated: 17 May 2018Legal notice