The EU has removed its ban on mango imports from India after blocking shipments due to the possible impact pests in the fruit could have had on salad crops in the region.
The restrictions, introduced last April, were due to remain in place until December but the European Commission lifted the ban after auditing suppliers in India last autumn and finding “significant improvements in the phytosanitary export certification system”.
The Commission said: “India has also provided assurances that appropriate measures are now available to ensure that the exports of mango fruits are free from quarantine pest, like the fruit flies not known to occur in the Union.”
Imports will resume in around a month once the removal of the ban been formally adopted and published by the Commission.
The UK government said plant pests that “threaten the UK’s GBP321m salad crop industry were repeatedly found in shipments from India”. UK officials visited India in August and November to review suppliers.
Lord de Mauley, UK minister for the natural environment, said: “We have been working closely with our Indian and European counterparts to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and I am pleased that trade in mangoes will resume.
“Today’s decision demonstrates the marked improvements India has made to its export system and it is important that these standards are maintained so that trade can continue and UK plant health remains protected.”
Shipments from India of four other products – Momordica (bitter gourd), Solanum melongena (aubergine), Colocasia (patra leaves) and Trichosanthes (snake gourd) – remain banned.
The Commission said: “At later stage, when more evidence is collected regarding the Indian phytosanitary certification, the prohibition of the vegetables will be reviewed.”