Niveau juridique : Union européenne
Texte de la question :
« Valencia is the leading region for citrus fruit in both Spain and the EU. It has produced more than five million tonnes per year over the past decade, accounting for more than 60% of national production. This means that Spain is the EU’s top producer and exporter of citrus fruit, and the fifth in the world.
In the EU, citrus fruit from Valencia competes with imports from third countries like Egypt, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil, with which trade agreements of one kind or another are in place.
Over the past three years, however, more than 300 tonnes of fruit contaminated with various pests have been intercepted at Spanish ports. Those pests include Xylella fastidiosa , Planococcus citri , Thaumatotibia leucotreta , Ceratitis capitata , Cacoecia , Pulvinaria poligonata and Chaetanaphothrips orchidii .
Some of these were not previously present in Europe. They have no natural predators and powerful pesticides are required to treat them.
Many of them can, however, be prevented via measures such as refrigerated transport, which is already a requirement in countries such as the USA, Japan and Australia. It is also requirement for EU producers.
1. Why is citrus fruit that may be contaminated being allowed into the EU?
2. Is the Commission considering including citrus fruit among the high-risk fruit and vegetables listed in Regulation (EU) 2016/2031? »
Réponse donnée par Ms Kyriakides, au nom de la Commission européenne, le 14 octobre 2020 :
« Citrus fruits are one of the most regulated commodities for quarantine pests. As set out in Regulation (EU) 2019/20721, import of citrus plants to the EU is prohibited, while in the case of citrus fruits specific import requirements are in place for citrus greening, citrus black spot, citrus canker, false codling moth and fruit flies. Commission Decision (EU) 2016/7152 sets even stricter import conditions for citrus fruit from Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, and Uruguay. The Commission together with the Member States monitors closely imports of citrus fruits and act where necessary. Most recently, the Commission adopted Regulation (EU) 2020/11993 banning until 30 April 2021 the imports of lemons and oranges originating in Argentina due to the high number of interceptions. The ban will be reviewed based on the findings of a related audit to be carried out by the Commission.In order for a commodity to be considered high-risk in the context of Article 42 of Regulation (EU) 2016/20314, a preliminary risk assessment needs to be carried out taking into account the criteria of Annex III of that Regulation. Citrus fruit have undergone that preliminary risk assessment and it was concluded that they were not eligible to be included in the list of high-risk plants. »
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