The number of reported pests has decreased in products imported into the European Union. This conclusion can be drawn from the latest report of the European Union Notification System EUROPHYT for plant health and pests. In 2015 customs officials of the EU and Switzerland reported a total of 7,180 cases that did not meet EU requirements. This is an increase of 4.4% compared to the previous year, however the reported cases of pests dropped to 2,136.
According to the report, the majority the cases originate from just a few countries: Ghana, Uganda, Laos, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uruguay and Thailand. Pests were mainly found in fruit and vegetables, but to a lesser extent also in packaging materials (wood), flowers and plants. Sweet peppers, citrus fruits, mangoes, eggplants, basil and cucumbers are fruits and vegetables that often occur in the reports. The most common organisms were non-European vinegar flies and greenhouse whitefly.
According to the report the issues with sweet peppers and citrus fruit increased in 2015. This is especially due to infestations of Thaumatotibia leucotreta in Africa and an outbreak of black spot disease in citrus fruits in Uruguay. In all other products a decrease of pests is reported; the EU Commission also attributes this to an improved dialogue with trade partners. Furthermore, in non-standard wood packaging there was a significant increase of cases recorded.
Other results the report mentioned are an increase in the number of cases of missing or inadequate documentation and inadequate phytosanitary certificates. Furthermore the EU authorities criticized the long processing times for the notifications of eleven working days. This is still a far cry from the two days required by EU legislation.