A formal investigation has been launched by the European Commission into an alleged boom in imports of prepared or preserved citrus fruits.

This follows complaints from the government of Spain, especially about sales of the product from China. The inquiry will focus on “certain prepared or preserved mandarins, (including tangerines and satsumas), clementines, wilkings and other similar citrus hybrids, not containing added spirit, containing added sugar.”

If Brussels concludes that there is a significant increase in imports into Europe of these products and that they are harming the EU production industry, it may order that a temporary safeguard duty be erected, according to documents sent to the World Trade Organisation.