EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy welcomed the US rule lifting the ban on Spanish clementines which was in place since 5 December 2001 saying: “Today’s move lays the foundation for uninterrupted trade in clementines between the EU and the USA. I expect that trade in this product will quickly return to previous levels”.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) officially suspended the entry of clementines from Spain on 5 December 2001, following reports that live Mediterranean fruit fly larvae had been found in Spanish clementines exported to the US.

The USDA, the European Commission together with the Spanish authorities have been working closely to ensure that steps are taken to reopen the market for the 2002-2003 season.

The US has now published the final rule setting out the conditions for resuming exports of Spanish clementines into the US.