European Union To Halt Imports Of Canadian Fruit

The European Union (EU) is halting imports of Canadian cherries and other fresh fruits starting September 1.

The halt in Canadian imports comes as E.U. member countries implement tougher enforcement related to pests. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said the restrictions apply to apples, pears, cranberries, blueberries, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and cherries.

The new E.U. rules do not apply to frozen and dried fruit, only to fresh fruit. There should also be no issues with sea containers that arrive in the E.U. with export documents dated before September 1, according to the CFIA.

The halt in E.U. imports comes as Canada's agriculture sector is grappling with other trade disputes, including an ongoing spat with China over Canadian imports of canola, pork and beef. Several Canadian farmers said that the E.U. issue could have serious ramifications on the 2020 fruit and vegetable harvest.

In 2018, Canada shipped approximately $3.1 million in cherries alone to the E.U.