The European fruit and veg industry has cautiously welcomed news that Russia is lifting import restrictions on EU produce.

Russia imposed a complete ban on European produce at the beginning of June, following the deadly outbreak of E.coli in Germany. It subsequently relaxed the ban, but still required EU importers to carry special import certificates, which made re-exports impossible. These certificates will now no longer be required, allowing EU countries to re-export produce they bought in from other countries.

European fresh produce association Freshfel said the removal of the certificate system should make it much easier for key produce trading countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium to fully resume their trading activities. However, it cautioned that exporters would have to wait until next week to see whether restrictions really will be removed.