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Amendments to EU plant health rules for False Codling Moth – June 2022

False Codling Moth (FCM, Thaumatotibia leucotreta) is listed as a priority pest under EU plant health regulations ((EU) 2019/1702). Unfortunately, as this pest has been intercepted on several host plants in recent months at EU border controls, stricter rules are now being introduced in a new regulation (EU) 2022/959 of 16 June 2022. It is expected that this will be applied in July 2022.1</.

A draft of the new regulation was submitted to the WTO in April. Some amendments were subsequently made, including a more detailed sampling methodology for official inspections, and new options for FCM management in oranges. The new rules for FCM include:

  • Revised import requirements for fruits of Capsicum, Citrus (other than Citrus aurantiifolia Citrus limon), Prunus persica, and Punica granatum L. (point 62 of the Annex)
  • Specific import requirements for Citrus sinensis (point 62.1 of the Annex)

Action needs to be taken to protect exports of these crops to the EU. The most important points to note are for countries exporting these crops according to the options (c) “pest free place of production” or (d) “systems approach/post-harvest treatment”:

  1. The NPPO must send a list of production site codes in advance in writing to the European Commission (EC)
  2. Details of the systems approach (or the post-harvest treatment method) for FCM must be communicated in advance to the EC together with documentary evidence of its effectiveness
  3. Prior to export, produce must be subjected to official inspections for the presence of Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick). The number of samples to be inspected must follow ISPM 31 “with an intensity to enable at least the detection of 2% level of infestation, with a level of confidence of 95% and including destructive sampling in case of symptoms. Table 1 in Appendix 2 of ISPM 31 (Page 14) indicates the number of samples that need to be taken to meet this specification, according to lot size)
  4. For every consignment, the code for the production site must be included in the phytosanitary certificate. (Alongside the description of the product, you must write the unique identification number or name of the approved production site).
  5. In the Additional Declaration, the NPPO must copy and paste the Option selected by the country. For example, for Option (c), copy the following text and paste into the AD:
    The consignment complies with Option (c) of Points 62 of Annex VII to Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072: fruits (i) originate in a place of production established by the national plant protection organisation in the country of origin as being free from Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 10, and which is included in the list of place of production codes that has been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin, and (ii) have been subjected to official inspections carried out in the place of production at appropriate times during the growing season and prior to export, including a visual examination with an intensity to enable at least the detection of a 2 % level of infestation, with a level of confidence of 95 % in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 31 and including destructive sampling in case of symptoms, and have been found to be free from Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick), and (iii) are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that indicates the place of production codes.

The amendments introduced in the new regulation affect a number of ACP export crops, targeted because they are a known pathway into the EU of a serious quarantine pest that could damage EU agriculture or the environment. They bring in strict new requirements for approval of production sites, inspections, and information. NPPOs and export sectors in the countries concerned need to act now to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to allow exports after July 2022.

Amendments like this are generally made following risk assessments, or where there have been large numbers of non-conformities in imports from third countries. The rules have been tightened due to repeatedly high numbers of FCM interceptions from a number of countries, often in consignments exported under option (c) “free place of production”. Stricter measures must be now put in place in each exporting country, and communicated to the EU.

The following text is extracted from the revised Regulation, and lists the options that must be used in order to export after July. The amendments concern Points 62 and 62.1 of Annex VII to Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072, and they affect Options (c) and (d), the most commonly used by ACP countries.

Point 62 (amended)

This gives 4 options that specify strict conditions for the management of FCM (T. leucotreta):

  • In fruits of Capsicum (L.), Citrus L., other than Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck. and Citrus sinensis Pers., Prunus persica (L.) Batsch and Punica granatum L. (pomegranate)
  • From countries on the African continent, Cape Verde, Saint Helena, Madagascar, La Reunion, Mauritius and Israel

The 4 options are as follows:

Option (a)
the fruits originate in a country recognised as being free from T. leucotreta (Meyrick) in accordance with the relevant International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, provided that this freedom status has been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin, orOption (b)
the fruits originate in an area established by the national plant protection organisation in the country of origin as being free from T. leucotreta (Meyrick), in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 4. The pest free area is mentioned on the phytosanitary certificate, provided that this freedom status has been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin, or

Option (c)
fruits (i) originate in a place of production established by the national plant protection organisation in the country of origin as being free from T. >leucotreta (Meyrick) in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 10, and which is included in the list of place of production codes that has been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin, and

(ii) have been subjected to official inspections carried out in the place of production at appropriate times during the growing season and prior to export, including a visual examination with an intensity to enable at least the detection of a 2 % level of infestation, with a level of confidence of 95 % in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 31 and including destructive sampling in case of symptoms, and have been found to be free from T. leucotreta (Meyrick), and

(iii) are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that indicates the place of production codes.

Option (d)
(i) the fruits have been produced in an approved site of production, which is included in the list of production site codes that has been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin,

and
(ii) have been subjected to an effective systems approach to ensure freedom from T. leucotreta (Meyrick), in accordance with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 14, or an effective stand-alone post-harvest treatment to ensure freedom from T. leucotreta (Meyrick), provided that the respective systems approach used or the post-harvest treatment, together with documentary evidence of its effectiveness, have been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin and that post-harvest treatment has been assessed by the European Food Safety Authority,

and
(iii) prior to export, have been subjected to official inspections for the presence of T. leucotreta (Meyrick), with an intensity to enable at least the detection of 2 % level of infestation, with a level of confidence of 95 % in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 31 and including destructive sampling in case of symptoms,

and
(iv) are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that indicates the production site codes and mentions the details of the post-harvest treatment used, or the use of the systems approach

Point 62.1 (New)

This gives 4 options that specify strict conditions for the management of FCM (T. leucotreta):

  • In fruits of Fruits of Citrus sinensis Pers.
  • From countries of the African continent, Cape Verde, Saint Helena, Madagascar, La Reunion, Mauritius and Israel.
Option (a)
the fruits originate in a country recognised as being free from T. leucotreta (Meyrick) in accordance with relevant International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, provided that this freedom status has been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of originOption (b)
the fruits originate in an area established by the national plant protection organisation in the country of origin as being free from T. leucotreta (Meyrick), in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 4(*). The pest free area is mentioned on the phytosanitary certificate, provided that this freedom status has been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin

Option (c)
the fruits
(i) originate in a place of production established by the national plant protection organisation in the country of origin as being free from T. leucotreta (Meyrick) in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 10, and which is included in the list of place of production codes that has been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin, and

(ii) have been subjected to official inspections carried out in the place of production at appropriate times during the growing season and prior to export, including a visual examination with an intensity to enable at least the detection of a 2 % level of infestation, with a level of confidence of 95 % in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 31 and including destructive sampling in case of symptoms, and found to be free from Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick), and

(iii) are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that indicates the place of production codes,

Option (d)
the fruits
(i) have been produced in an approved site of production, which is included in the list of production site codes that has been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin, and

(ii) have been subjected to:
– an effective systems approach, which includes a cold treatment of 0°C to -1°C for at least 16 days, in accordance with the relevant International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 14 and ISPM 42, provided that the cold treatment has been documented and checked for each consignment by the exporting third country and the systems approach, together with documentary evidence of its effectiveness, have been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin,

or
– an effective systems approach in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 14, which includes a precooling step of the pulp of the fruit to the temperature of the cold treatment applied, followed by that cold treatment for at least 20 days at a set temperature between -1°C and +2°C, provided that the precooling step and the cold treatment have been documented and checked for each consignment by the exporting third country, and provided that the systems approach, together with documentary evidence of its effectiveness, have been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin,

or
– an effective stand-alone post-harvest treatment to ensure freedom from Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick), provided that that post-harvest treatment, together with documentary evidence of its effectiveness has been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin and has been assessed by the European Food Safety Authority,

or
– until 31 December 2022, an effective systems approach in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 14, which includes a precooling step of the pulp of the fruit to 5°C, followed by a cold treatment for at least 25 days at a set temperature between -1°C and +2°C, provided that the precooling step and the cold treatment have been documented and checked for each consignment by the exporting third country, and provided that the systems approach, together with documentary evidence of its effectiveness, have been communicated in advance in writing to the Commission by the national plant protection organisation of the country of origin,

and
(iii) prior to export have been subjected to official inspections for the presence of T. leucotreta (Meyrick), with an intensity to enable at least the detection of a 2 % level of infestation, with a level of confidence of 95 % in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 31 and including destructive sampling in case of symptoms,

and
(iv) are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that indicates the production site codes, mentions details of the post-harvest treatment used or the use of the systems approach together with the set temperature used and the duration of the cold treatment applied in that systems approach;

and
(v) in case the cold treatment has been applied during transport, in addition to the phytosanitary certificate, records on the application of the treatment have been kept and made available upon request.’

Sampling Intensity

Note that under both of these points, there is a new specification concerning the number of samples that should be taken during inspections for Options (c) and (d):

“a visual examination with an intensity to enable at least the detection of a 2 % level of infestation, with a level of confidence of 95 % in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 31”.

Inspectors will need to refer to Table 1 in Appendix 2 of ISPM 31 (Page 14). This gives a list of the number of samples that need to be taken to meet this specification, according to lot size. The following information is extracted from this table (see Annex 1).

Minimum sample number according to lot size, to enable detection
of a 2% level of infestation with 95% confidence level (from ISPM 31)

Lot Size Minimum Sample Size
50 48
100 78
200 105
300 117
400 124
500 129
600 132
700 134
800 136
900 137
1000 138
2000 143

COLEACP Plant Health Guides

COLEACP provides plant health guidelines on the export of several ACP export crops. These are currently being updated to incorporate the recent changes introduced under Regulation (EU) 2021/2285, as well as these latest amendments:

  • (New) Guidelines on the export of fresh guava, papaya, and Annona
  • Guidelines on exporting fresh capsicum from the Caribbean (version 2022)
  • (Update in process, to be published in June 2022) Guidelines on the export of Capsicum from Africa, Madagascar, Cape Verde, and Mauritius (version 2020)
  • Guidelines on exporting fresh eggplant and tomato from Africa, Madagascar, Cape Verde, and Mauritius (version 2022)
  • (Update in process) Guidelines on exporting fresh citrus from Africa, Madagascar, Cape Verde and Mauritius (version 2020)
  • Guidelines on the export of fresh mango to the European Union (version 2022)

These guides provide a clear explanation of what needs to be done in order to ensure that exported produce is in compliance with EU phytosanitary requirements. It details the information to be provided, and actions to be taken, at all stages from production to export by producers and exporters, as well as by the national authorities and inspection services.

Those documents are publicly available in our E-library.

Annex 1: Table 1 from Page 14 of the
International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 31

1</ Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/959 of 16 June 2022 amending Annex VII to Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 as regards requirements for the introduction into the Union of certain fruits of Capsicum (L.), Citrus L., Citrus sinensis Pers., Prunus persica (L.) Batsch and Punica granatum L.



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