EU lifts Fish Export Ban On Ghana
Accra (DG) – Ghanaian farmers can now resume export of all plant commodities to the European Union (EU) market from 1 January 2018, following the European Commission’s decision on October 31 to lift the current ban on commodities from Ghana.
A press release issued by the European Union Delegation to Ghana last Tuesday identified the five Ghanaian plants as chilli pepper, bottle gourds, luffa gourds, bitter gourds and eggplants.
These plants would from 1 January 2018 have duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market like any other product from Ghana.
It said the five commodities would however, have to fulfill the EU phytosanitary legislation to ensure the freedom of quarantine pests.
This decision follows an audit undertaken from September 12th to 21st 2017 by the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission, and the evolution of the numbers of import interceptions with quarantine pests notified by the Member States for commodities not subject to the ban, the release said.
It said since the beginning of the ban in October 2015, the Ghanaian authorities had taken significant corrective measures to improve the inspection and control system for plant health at exit points, in particular at the Kotoka International Airport.
This outcome, the release said, had been possible following combined efforts of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Department (PPRSD) and coordinated support from several development partners including the European Union through the Trade-related Assistance and Quality Enabling programme (TRAQUE), the German International Cooperation (GIZ), the Netherlands Embassy through the GhanaVeg project and USAID.
It said the harmonized approach had been instrumental to reach the objective of complying with EU requirements this year.
It said the resumption of exports of all plant commodities to the EU market would enable Ghana to fully benefit from the 100 percent preferential access to the EU market, provided by the Stepping Stone Economic Partnership Agreement, which entered into force on 15 December 2016.
On October 13, 2015, the European Commission decided to prohibit the introduction of five plant commodities from Ghana into the EU market until the end of December 2016, the release said, adding that the ban was purposely restricted to those commodities that had experienced the highest number of interceptions.