According to a report carried on the Hortidaily.com website in July 2013, the ECs Standing Committee on Plant Health has introduced a number of changes to inspection levels for floriculture and horticulture imports. Some of these directly affect ACP exporters, including the introduction of checks on all consignments of roses from Uganda from 1 September 2013, up from inspection of 25% of consignments. Changes will also be introduced to inspections of certain products from Zimbabwe and Tanzania, according to the report.
The official EC notification, published in November 2012 and applicable from 1 July 2013, indicated that the minimum level of inspections to be carried out would also increase for passionflower imports from Zimbabwe, where the minimum level of inspections will be increased from 35 to 50%.
Minimum inspection rates on imports of aster flowers from Zimbabwe will fall from 100% of all consignments to 75%, while the inspection rate on imports of bitter squash from Suriname will be reduced from 100 to 50% of all consignments.
According to an EC review of controls on fruit and vegetable imports in 2012, some 71,000 consignments were subject to reinforced controls, of which 10,610 were sampled for laboratory analysis and 751 (i.e., 7.1%) were found in breach of EU legislation and were prevented from entering the EU market. Some products were found to comply with requirements and were removed from the list of imports targeted for controls, while new products were added to the list requiring stricter controls. Among others, it was reported that stricter controls were applied to watermelon seeds from Nigeria and groundnuts from Ghana. These exports must now be accompanied by results of sampling and analysis and by a health certificate verified by authorised representatives of the country of origin.
The ECs food and feed controls are currently reviewed on a quarterly basis.