India will challenge the European Union move to ban mango and vegetable exports from India. The government is to broach the issue at the India-EU SPS-TBT (Sanitary and Phytosanitary and Technical Barriers to Trade) working group in Brussels next week. Since India has already assured the EU of an SPS certification system from April 1, the ban is unjustified, the government believes.
This week, the EU had announed a ban on Indian mango and four vegetables including egg plants (baigan) and gourds (lauki) as they contained harmful organisms. India had agreed to have phytosanitary inspection from April 1. Effective April 1, the exporters have been advised to route all fruit and vegetable shipments to EU only through APEDA-recognised pack houses, wherein inspection and testing is done by plant quarantine personnel. The National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) will not issue phytosanitary certificate for consignments not routed through APEDA-recognised poly houses.
EU had been concerned about mango and vegetable exports since last April, responding to which India assured safe and pest-free exports. Indian mangoes in EU are mainly targeted at the NRI populace. In 2012-13, mango exports to EU were 4,000 tonnes, valued at Re. 50 crore.