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EU lifts embargo on import of Indian mangoes

EU lifts embargo on import of Indian mangoes

NEW DELHI: India’s Alphonso mangoes will return to European market after the European Commission voted to lift a ban imposed on imports last year here the other day. The ban on imports of four vegetables – bitter gourd, brinjal, snake gourd and taro – from India will, however, stay for now.

Lifting of the ban will cheer mango exporters who had to look at Gulf countries and the domestic market to sell their produce last year at lower prices. For local consumers, the price of the premium variety of mangoes may go up as exports will reduce the availability in the Indian market.

The latest decision came after a team of the commission’s Food and Veterinary Office visited India in September to inspect pack houses and verify improvement in plant health controls and certification system. Following the unanimous vote lifting the ban on mango imports, it said “there has been significant improvements” in India’s mango export system.

“We are happy they have lifted the ban on mangoes but only 50 per cent of our concern has been addressed,” an Indian official told ET, referring to the continuing ban on vegetables. “The British government worked hard to have the ban lifted…this is great news for UK-India and EU-India relationships,” said British High Commissioner to India James Bevan.

The Food and Veterinary Office, in its report, agreed that India has taken several measures to guarantee safe exports, including enhancement of capacity and number of inspecting staff, improvement in infrastructure and implementation of a standard operating procedure. The ban had been imposed because of “significant shortcomings” in the certification system for such products.