EU seeks to avoid South African cit­rus ban: doc­u­ment

Daily Trust - - REUTERS -

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has pro­posed drop­ping a ban on South African cit­rus im­ports but said it could be re-im­posed if ship­ments con­tain a fun­gal dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to a doc­u­ment ob­tained by Reuters.

The Euro­pean Union, which buys 1 bil­lion eu­ros ($1.4 bil­lion) of South African cit­rus ex­ports ev­ery year, banned mainly or­anges, lemons, and tan­ger­ines from South Africa late last year be­cause of a fun­gal dis­ease found in ship­ments.

EU mem­ber states will vote to­day (Wed­nes­day) on whether to ex­tend the ban, a mea­sure that would block about 600,000 tonnes of cit­rus fruit for the MayOc­to­ber sea­son.

The Com­mis­sion, which co­or­di­nates trade pol­icy for the 28-mem­ber bloc, says such a step is not nec­es­sary and rec­om­mends only con­sid­er­ing a ban if the black spot dis­ease is found in five dif­fer­ent ship­ments from South Africa.

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