EU lifts ban on exports of five vegetable crops

The European Union (EU) has lifted the ban on exports of five vegetable crops to the EU market.

The European Commission (EC) in October 2015 placed a moratorium on the introduction of five vegetables, comprising chilli pepper, bottle gourds, luffa gourds, bitter gourds and eggplants into the EU markets from Ghana until December 2016 for what it described as “an increase in the presence of harmful organisms in the plant commodities leading Ghana to face the highest number of interceptions globally.”

The ban was extended to December 2017 following an audit undertaken in September 2016.

A statement issued by the EU delegation to Ghana yesterday said as from January 1 next year, Ghanaian exporters would be able to resume exports of all plant commodities, which have duty-free access and quota-free access to the EU market.

The statement said the five vegetable crops would have to fulfill the EU phytosanitary legislation to ensure the freedom of quarantine pests.

The decision, according to the statement, follows an audit by the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the EU and the evolution of the numbers of import interceptions with quarantine pests notified by member states for exports products not subject to the ban.

The statement commended Ghana for taking significant corrective measures to improve inspection and control system for plant health at exit points and reiterated the need for the country to consolidate the upgraded system and continue to further improve in the phytosanitary certification system to obtain full compliance with the EU requirements.

It said the resumption of exports of all plant commodities to the EU market would enable Ghana to benefit from the Economic Partnership Agreement which came into force in December 2016, as it would grant Ghana preferential access to the EU market.

The statement commended the Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Department (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other development partners, including the German International Cooperation (GIZ), Netherlands Embassy, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), for working together towards the lifting of the ban.

By Times Reporter




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