South Africa Lodges WTO Complaint Against EU Citrus Fruit Clampdown

South Africa Lodges WTO Complaint Against EU Citrus Fruit Clampdown (News Central TV)

The WTO spokesperson has announced that South Africa has launched a dispute complaint against the European Union concerning measures imposed by the bloc on South African citrus fruit imports.

In a first-ever WTO dispute settlement case initiated by South Africa, the country’s request for dispute consultations with the EU was circulated to WTO members on Friday, the spokesperson added.

South Africa is challenging recently enacted changes to EU phytosanitary requirements for imports of oranges and other citrus products related to the pest Thaumatotibia leucotreta, or false codling moth, the WTO statement said.

“South Africa claims the EU measures appear to be inconsistent with various provisions of the WTO’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994,” it added. 

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CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA) of South Africa, Justin Chadwick

CEO  of the Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA) of South Africa, Justin Chadwick said a consultation with the WTO has been requested by the South African government to address the measures.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) confirmed that the government has submitted a request for consultation with the EU in terms of the WTO Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU).

According to Chadwick, in its request, the SA government identified what it regards as 21 inconsistencies in the EU’s new proposed phytosanitary measures.

The new EU measures have already impacted an estimated 3.2 million cartons of citrus valued at R605 million. Chadwick says there are reports of hundreds of containers of SA citrus being confiscated by authorities in the EU on arrival.

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Despite numerous objections from several other countries, including European markets that currently import SA oranges, these new regulations were published in the Official Journal of the European Union with an implementation date of July 14, 2022.


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