The European Union has lifted a long-term ban on Indian eggplant, taro plant, bitter and snake gourd, but will still be closely monitoring imports into member states.
In May 2014 the EU first implemented emergency measures banning these four Indian commodities alongside Indian mango amid concerns over contamination.
Following a significant number of consignments infested with fruit flies, imports were restricted but the ban on mango was lifted much earlier than expected after a large-scale campaign by India’s mango sector and UK importers who supply the ethnic markets in Britain.
By February 2015, mango exports were up and running again with tight control measures in place.
It has taken much longer, but the restrictions on the two types of gourd, taro plant and eggplant, have now lapsed and the EU says it will not be extending the ban.
“The decrease in the number of interceptions has indicated that the phytosanitary export certification system of India has improved,” an EU spokesman tells PBUK.
“As a result, Decision 2014/237/EU has not been extended and the decision expired on 31 December 2016.
“Nevertheless, import interceptions of Indian plant commodities have not ceased fully. The Commission and the Member States will continue to monitor the development of the situation.”
EU data shows the number of interceptions of harmful organisms in week 51 of 2016 (the latest information available) reached 70, compared with 131 in the same period in 2015, 169 in 2014, 386 in 2013 and 363 in 2012.