Retailers and suppliers will soon be able to import mangoes once again from India after the EU voted to lift a ban much earlier than expected.  

Temporary restrictions were put in place by the EU Commission last April after plant pests that could threaten the UK’s £321 million salad crop industry were repeatedly found in shipments from the country.  

The EU suspension had been due to remain in place until December 2015. However, the EU Plant Health Standing Committee today (Tuesday 20 January) voted to lift restrictions, after experts from the UK Government’s Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate worked with the Indian authorities to help them prepare for an EU audit of their export system. 

Imports of alphonso mangoes and other varieties of fruit grown in India will resume in approximately one month’s time, after the new EU legislation has been formally adopted and published by the European Commission. This will still be ahead of the 2015 import season, which starts in March, Defra said. 

Restrictions on aubergine, patra leaves, bitter gourd, and snake gourd, which were suspended at the same time, still remain. 

“We have been working closely with our Indian and European counterparts to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and I am pleased that trade in mangoes will resume,” Lord de Mauley, Minister for the Natural Environment, said. “Today’s decision demonstrates the marked improvements India has made to its export system and it is important that these standards are maintained so that trade can continue and UK plant health remains protected.”