Phytosanitary officers at the Saint Petersburg port refused entry for the tomatoes after the discovery of a dangerous insect.
Russian phytosanitary officers at Saint Petersburg port blocked 211 tonnes of infected Moroccan tomatoes from import into the country in 2019. The tomatoes had to be disinfected or returned to Morocco.
According to Russian news outlet, Petersburg2, a total of 12 batches of tomatoes were blocked following the discovery of a tomato moth in the shipment. The batches were then either disinfected or returned.
The tomato moth is a tiny butterfly of South American origin whose caterpillars dig galleries in foliage, stems, and fruits.
The insect is widely spreading throughout South America, Europe, and the Mediterranean countries, and is considered a dangerous pest.
In 2019, Morocco shipped around 34.8 thousand tonnes of tomatoes to Saint Petersburg.