Spanish citrus sector hails EU implementation of stricter cold treatment rules

Mon 27/06/2022 by Richard Wilkinson

As of last Friday, the EU has introduced stricter import regulations for South African oranges in a bid to limit the entry of the False Codling Moth (FMC) pest. While the Spanish citrus sector has applauded the move, the South African citrus industry had severely opposed the new rules, saying that they are “disproportionate and unfeasible” and could lead to large gaps in the supply chain and higher prices for EU consumers. 

The regulations, which were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on Tuesday, state that as of Friday all imports departing from countries affected by False Codling Moth must have the new phytosanitary certificate indicating that their oranges have been grown in an authorised place.

The regulations require a precooling to 5ºC at origin and a treatment in transit at -1ºC to 2ºC degrees for 25 days. From 2023, exporters will be able to choose from two options: a cold treatment between -1ºC and 0ºC for 16 days or between -1ºC and 2ºC for 20 days. In both cases, the operators would be required to precool at 0ºC and 2ºC, respectively.

Orange consignments shipped prior to June 24 will be exempt from such requirements if they arrive in Europe before 14 July.

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