Answer to Written Question: Commission inspections in Argentina and South Africa on the use of banned pesticides on citrus fruit
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
1.-2. The Commission’s work programme for Health and food audits and analysis for 2021 includes audits to Argentina and South Africa covering citrus fruits. These audits cover the phytosanitary conditions under which these fruits are exported to the EU. They do not include an evaluation of pesticide controls, or controls on pesticide residues. The Commission is not currently planning audits on pesticide controls for either South Africa or Argentina, but such audits were last carried out in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
The health and food audit of Argentina took place from 8 to 19 February 2021. It evaluated the system of official plant health controls and the certification of citrus fruits for export to the EU. The report is currently being finalised and will be sent to the European Parliament and published on the Commission’s website in due course.
The Commission postponed a planned audit of South Africa to evaluate the export plant health controls for citrus fruits in order for the audit to take into account an ongoing assessment by the European Food Safety Authority of the effectiveness of South Africa’s systems approach for Thaumatotibia leucotreta in citrus fruits.
3. Audits assess whether exporting countries fulfil EU import conditions. EU trade agreements do not change the phytosanitary import requirements. Consequently, all products imported into the EU must meet EU phytosanitary import requirements, irrespective of whether there is a trade agreement between the EU and the country of origin or not.