The European Union has temporarily banned lemon and orange imports from Argentina to prevent the introduction and spread of the black spot in the EU. The ban is stipulated in the implementing regulation of the European Commission Europea published on Friday, August 14 in the Official Journal of the EU, which modifies an annex to a standard regarding protection measures against plant pests.

Between May and the first week of August, the EU states repeatedly notified the Commission of the interceptions of the aforementioned pest in Argentinean lemons and oranges. The norm indicates that these recurrent interceptions demonstrate that “the phytosanitary controls currently in force in Argentina are insufficient to prevent the introduction of this pest into the EU, which poses an unacceptable phytosanitary risk that cannot be reduced to an acceptable level.”

Consequently, the introduction of certain Argentine lemon and orange fruits is temporarily prohibited, regardless of if they are intended exclusively for industrial processing.

Said prohibition will apply from August 16, 2020, to April 30, 2021, unless it is reviewed, to face the current risk of introducing and spreading the black spot into the European Union, and to allow Argentina to update its certification system, which will be audited by the Commission.