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Parliamentary question - E-003396/2016Parliamentary question

Citrus black spot and controls on imports of citrus fruit

Question for written answer E-003396-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Remo Sernagiotto (ECR) , Raffaele Fitto (ECR)

The EU’s Standing Committee on Plant Health recently approved new plant health control measures for citrus fruit imported into the European Union from certain countries where a rise in the spread of Citrus black spot (CBS) is being recorded.

This decision will allow contaminated citrus fruit to enter the EU for use in processing.

Citrus black spot is a highly contagious disease. Seventy cases have been notified in the past year in Uruguay, 15 in South Africa, 17 in Argentina and 13 in Brazil. Relaxing controls could put 600 000 hectares of citrus fruit trees and 500 000 tonnes of produce at risk in Europe.

— Does the Commission consider that this decision on importing citrus fruit from countries in which a rise in cases of Citrus black spot has been recorded could entail serious risks for the European citrus sector?— What measures is it planning to adopt to stop the spread of Citrus black spot in the European Union and prevent the occurrence of a new emergency situation, such as the one affecting olives caused by Xylella fastidiosa?— How will it ensure that imported citrus fruit meets the higher safety standards for human, animal and plant health?