July, 2022

According to new EU legislation published in the Official Journal on June 21, 2022, Mandatory Cold Treatment will be required for all citrus fruits imported from non-EU countries starting July 14th. This cold treatment process requires temperatures of 0°C to -1°C to be sustained for at least 16 days for any “Citrus sinensis Pers.” fruits imported from African countries including Cape Verde, Saint Helena, Madagascar, La Reunion, Mauritius, and Israel.

In Europe, the Citrus Growers Association of South Africa has reported that this could result in 3.2 million cartons of South African citrus fruits being destroyed upon arrival. These new EU regulations are designed to prevent the spread of the “false codling moth” (FCM). FCM is listed as a priority pest under EU plant health regulations ((EU) 2019/1702). Europe is the largest market for South African citrus fruit, accounting for over 40% of its exports.

With the new regulations now in-place, many citrus importers and product manufacturers claim they were only given 23 days notice to enact these new standards; mandatory cold treatment processes can take up to 25 days, and this is before subsequent shipping and importation procedures. Such short notice, combined with over 800,000 tons of citrus fruit scheduled to arrive in the EU during the 2022 season, may result in significant challenges for the European citrus industry going forward.

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Written By
Berjé Purchasing
Purchasing Dept.