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Ban on Indian mango imports to EU to be lifted

A ban on Indian mango imports into the European Union is to be lifted, clearing the way

for them to return to the UK and other member states.

However, other foodstuffs such as Indian aubergines, two types of squash, and a type of

leaf used in cooking will remain restricted.

Indian mango shipments to the EU were suspended in May after fruit flies were found in

consignments.

A European Commission committee voted to lift the ban on Tuesday.

There had been “significant improvements” in India’s mango export system, the European

Commission said after the unanimous vote.

The UK government previously said it was working towards the ban being lifted and was

one of the member states that participated in the vote to lift the ban.

“We have been working closely with our Indian and European counterparts to resolve the

issue as quickly as possible and I am pleased that trade in mangoes will resume,” said the

Minister for the Natural Environment, Lord de Mauley.

“Today’s decision demonstrates the marked improvements India has made to its export

system and it is important that these standards are maintained so that trade can continue

and UK plant health remains protected,” he said.

Mr M Rafeeque Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said

the ban had affected India’s exports of fresh fruit. Exports fell from $307.4m between

April and November in 2013, to $291.4m in the same period last year.

‘Delighted customers’

UK mango importer Monica Bhandari said customers would welcome the lifting of the

ban.

“Customers are going to be delighted,” she told the BBC. “Those who buy mangoes, who

were up in arms, really, about the mango ban, have been missing them all season.”

The Indian mango season is from April to around June, she said.

Imports will be able to start again in about a month’s time, once new EU legislation has

been formally adopted and published by the European Commission.

However, imports of four other products – aubergines, bitter gourds, snake gourds and

patra leaves – remain suspended subject to sustained improvements in plant pest control.

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