EU import prohibition of Egyptian potatoes
Ralstonia solanacearum (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) occurs in Egypt and has repeatedly been found on Egyptian consignments of ware potatoes imported into the European Union (see EPPO reports of intercepted consignments). In order to avoid the introduction of this quarantine pest, particular requirements concerning potato imports from Egypt were stated in Commission Decision '96/301/EC authorizing Member States temporarily to take emergency measures against the dissemination of Pseudomonas solanacearum (Smith) Smith as regards Egypt' and its amended versions. One of the main requirement was that potatoes must have been produced in fields located in approved 'pest-free areas' in Egypt. However, large amounts of infected potatoes continued to be intercepted in trade. An additional provision was made to the Commission Decision stating that, as soon as more than 5 interceptions of Ralstonia solanacearum have been confirmed in lots of potatoes introduced into the Community during the 1998/1999 import season, potato imports would be prohibited. Attainment of this threshold was considered to indicate that the method for the identification of 'pest-free areas' or the procedures for official monitoring in Egypt were not sufficient to prevent the risk of introduction. On 1999-04-03, more than 5 interceptions of infected potatoes from Egypt had been notified by EU Member States. The European Commission and the Standing Committee on Plant Health decided that imports of Egyptian potatoes were prohibited until the end of the season.
EPPO Secretariat, 1999-06.