The objectives of the audit were to evaluate the system of official plant health controls and the certification of citrus fruit for export to the European Union (EU). The audit team also assessed the action taken to address the recommendations made following a previous mission on the same topic.
The general system of export controls for citrus fruit exported to the EU is based on the application of treatments against CBS and fruit flies in the field of production and an inspection immediately after processing and packing of the fruit. It is supplemented by field inspections in case of high risk areas.
The whole system of export checks has been improved and strengthened since the 2009 mission and reduces significantly the risk of introduction of CBS. All fruits originating from the same orchard found to be infested are now excluded from export to the EU.
However, the official checks are carried out on a representative sample of all Citrus fruit intended for export to the EU following processing and packing and not on all fruits harvested and this is not fully in line with EU requirements for fruit originating outside of the PFA recognised by Commission Decision 2006/473/EC.
The surveys and measures applied to the established and proposed PFAs for CBS were generally found to be in line with the relevant International Standards.