Canary tomatoes to undergo phytosanitary control before entering the Iberian Peninsula and Europe

Community Regulation 2031/2016, which requires Canary tomato shipments intended for the Iberian Peninsula and Europe to undergo phytosanitary inspections, has come into force on Tuesday 1 January 2018.

The Federation of Horticultural Exporters of Las Palmas, FEDEX, has been working all year 2017 in order to mitigate the impact of this Regulation on Canary products, as the Canary Islands are considered a "third country" by it. However, the regulation exempts the Archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores from its application.

The first objective of FEDEX was to demonstrate that the Canary Islands are free of Keiferia lycopersicella. To this end, several meetings were held with the Vice-Council of Agriculture of the Government of the Canary Islands, which motivated the launch of monitoring actions using pheromone traps in crops and tomato packaging stores.

At the same time, several meetings were held with heads of the General Directorate of Health of Agricultural Production and the Sub-directorate of Sanitary Agreements and Border Control of the Ministry of Agriculture, MAPAMA, in order to keep the number of compulsory inspections low and minimise the impact of the controls on Canary tomato shipments.

After several months, the Plant Health Service of the General Directorate of Agriculture of the Government of the Canary Islands issued a report that proves that the Canary Islands is free of Keiferia lycopersicella. This report was fundamental for Canary producers in the discussion about the volume of Canary tomatoes to be inspected.

The negotiations carried out by MAPAMA in the Permanent Committee of the EU managed to reduce the percentage of controls on the volume of exported Canary tomatoes from the initial 100% to a minimum of 5%. The fact is that this is the same percentage that will be applied for tomatoes from Morocco.

Recently, FEDEX has held a coordination meeting with the Phytosanitary Inspection service of the Government Delegation in the Canary Islands and the General Directorate of Agriculture of the Government of the Canary Islands in order to establish the procedure for the inspection and documentary check of Canary tomato shipments.

For their part, Canary producers have asked for the Canary Islands to also enforce similar controls on any imported tomatoes to prevent the entry of Keiferia lycopersicella, as it could cause huge damage to the Canary crops.


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