An agreement has been reached to clear the hundreds of citrus containers stranded in EU ports

Valencia oranges on tree

The South African government has negotiated a settlement to clear citrus blocked in European Union (EU) ports.

Hundreds of containers were detained because of new EU entry requirements designed to regulate the risk associated with False Codling Moth (FCM) on citrus fruit.

The South African government and citrus industry argued the implementation of these measures was unreasonable and the dispute was eventually escalated to the WTO.

In a statement made on 11 August, the South African government said its Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) had negotiated a settlement that will see the remaining citrus containers stuck in ports of entry in the EU cleared.

“To date we have managed to clear more (than) 300 of the 509 containers and we are processing clearance of the remaining containers,” the statement said.

“Over 2,000 containers, at an estimated valued at R500m (US$30.7m) were affected by this blockage.”