London: The European Union on Tuesday decided to lift a ban on the import of mangoes from India after the country made improvements in plant health controls and certification system, clearing the way for them to return to the 28-member bloc.
A European Commission committee voted to lift the ban today. The legislation now needs to be formally adopted and published by the European Commission.
This will take around a month, but the positive vote by the Committee gives certainty to Indian exporters and UK importers about the position for the forthcoming mango season.
Welcoming the decision, British High Commissioner in India James Bevan said: "This is great news for the UK-India and EU-India trade relationship and especially for Indian exporters and UK consumers.
"The British Government worked hard to have the ban lifted. This includes sending an expert to provide technical training, prior to the EU inspection in September. This is great news for the UK-India and EU-India trade relationship and especially for Indian exporters and UK consumers," Bevan?said.
"We are pleased to have played an important role in bringing the ban to an end," Bevan said.?
The EU accounts for more than 50 per cent of total exports of fruits and vegetables from India. The UK is the main destination, followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
The European Union's "temporary ban" came into force on May 1, 2014 and was to remain effective until December 2015 after authorities in Brussels found consignments infested with fruit flies that they feared could damage European salad crops.