EU may lift ban on Indian mango, veggies

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Dec 03, 2014 02:17 IST

The European Union (EU) is likely to announce the lifting of a ban on the import of mangoes and some vegetables from India following an audit of packaging systems in India by a team from Brussels in September.

A report following the EU’s Food and Veterinary Office visit to India to evaluate the system of official controls for the export of plants and plant products from India to the EU was presented and discussed during the committee’s meeting on November 25 and 26, official sources said on Tuesday.

The ban, imposed due to concerns over pests and insects in consignments from India, was announced by the European Union’s Standing Committee on Plant Health on March 26, 2014.

Businessmen from London and elsewhere who cater to the Asian clientele said that the ban had a “devastating” impact on them, and also on growers and importers based in India. Losses due to the ban have been mentioned as running into “hundreds of thousands of pounds”.

Besides protesting against the ban, India has conveyed to EU, details about its upgraded packaging facilities. Officials said that pests and insects were found in 207 consignments of fruits and vegetables imported into the EU from India in 2013. The prohibited items represent less than 5% of the total fruits and vegetables imported into EU from India.

A revision of the ban was originally scheduled to take place before December 31, 2015, but following the team’s visit to India, it is expected to be lifted shortly.

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