4:37 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

European Union May Lift Ban On Import of Indian Mangoes

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According to a senior government official, the European Union is likely to lift the ban on the import of Indian mangoes and other vegetables this month. Earlier this year, the 28-member European Union had temporarily banned the import of Alphonso mangoes and four other vegetables from India. “Recently, EU’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) team visited to inspect our pack houses and other facilities, hope they will soon lift the ban from import of mangoes and other vegetables,” said S K Saxena, Director, Export Inspection Council of India.

He was speaking on the sidelines of CII National Food Safety and Quality Summit. Sources in Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) confirmed the visit of EU’s team to India. As per the reports, the team also engaged with the officials of National Plant Protection Authority (NPPA) and APEDA over the issue.

According to the sources in APEDA, “The team was satisfied with our facilities and has already filed a report which will be deliberated with the member countries.” Earlier, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also confirmed that the Food and Veterinary Office of European Commission had agreed to send an audit team to India. She noted that the team would verify the improvement in plant health controls and certification system with regard to fruits and vegetables.

According to Nirmala Sitharaman, India has already taken several measures to guarantee safe exports – including enhancement of capacity and numbers of inspecting staff, an improved infrastructure and implementation of a standard operating procedure. In addition to this, the country has also routed all export consignments of perishables to EU through approved pack houses to enable better inspection and certification.

India has not only informed the EU regarding the implementation of these control systems but has also formally conveyed the disagreement on the temporary restriction imposed by the EU, said Sitharaman.

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