STC Number - 121

Imports of clementines

Maintained by: United States of America
Raised by: European Union
Supported by:
First date raised: March 2002 G/SPS/R/26, paras. 7-10
Dates subsequently raised: June 2002 (G/SPS/R/27, paras. 58-59)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/GEN/1051
Products covered: 0805 Citrus fruit, fresh or dried.
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: Plant health
Status: Resolved
Solution: The European Union indicated that the issue was resolved (G/SPS/GEN/1051).
Date reported as resolved: 13/10/2010

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

The European Communities reported that on 30 November 2001, USDA APHIS announced an immediate temporary ban on citrus fruit imports from Spain following two reported interceptions of live Mediterranean fruit fly larvae. The finds were made in cold-treated clementines from Spain stored in close proximity to, and possibly even mixed with, fruits from other sources. Imports of Spanish citrus into the United States had taken place in accordance with a protocol agreed in 1987 comprising pre-shipment inspection, cold treatment, checks at the point of entry and measures that should be taken in the event of pest findings. The European Communities considered the US measure disproportionate to the extent and nature of the findings given the impact on trade, and discriminatory since other foreign suppliers, also using cold treatment, could still export clementines to the United States. The European Communities was also dismayed by the US decision to study revisions to the cold treatment procedure and issue a final rule accordingly - a procedure which would take a considerable period of time.
In June 2002 the European Communities reported that Spain and the United States continued bilateral efforts to find a resolution to this problem. The European Communities expressed concern as to whether exports would be allowed to resume by the following season on the basis of a new import protocol, given that the slow procedures being followed by the United States might not be concluded in time for the new season. The European Communities indicated that if this were to occur they might invoke the dispute resolution procedures. The United States expressed appreciation for the cooperation of the Spanish authorities in the matter and noted that the comment period had been extended in order to permit all relevant parties the opportunity to comment on the US risk assessment.