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Quality Control of Fruit and Vegetables at the BLE

The BLE controls the compliance with marketing standards of different horticultural and agricultural products, which are traded in Germany and the European Union or imported and exported. This quality control focuses on fruits and vegetables, bananas, dried grapes, hops, eggs and fishery products.

Fruit and vegetables

In the European Union, the production and trade of the ten most important fruit and vegetable species are subject to specific marketing standards. Apart from a few exceptions, all other fruit and vegetable species offered on the market must comply with the general marketing standard. Both the general and the specific marketing standards apply at all levels of trade including import and export. At production level, in wholesale and retail and when German products are exported, monitoring of compliance with these marketing standards lies within the responsibilities of the competent control bodies of each of the German federal states (Bundeslaender).

The BLE is the competent authority for / where – are concerned

  • monitoring of imports from third countries and
  • monitoring of exports to third countries of non-German products, i.e. of products which were harvested in another European Union member state, or of products which were imported from a third country prior to being exported.

Controls are carried out by the competent control bodies, selectively and following a risk assessment which considers, in particular, the type of produce and results of previous controls.

Bananas

Green, unripe bananas (dessert bananas of variety groups Gros Michel and Cavendish) are subject to marketing standards. The BLE monitors compliance with the marketing standards at import level.

Food potatoes

The regulation on commercial classes for food potatoes was suspended on July 1st, 2011. There are no EU marketing standards in force for food potatoes.

Dried grapes

The BLE carries out spot checks of compliance with the minimum requirements in force for dried grapes (sultana and Muscatel varieties and currants) at import and export levels.

Hops

The BLE carries out spot checks of compliance with the marketing standard for hops at import level.

Eggs

The BLE carries out spot checks of compliance with the marketing standard for eggs at import and export levels.

Fishery Products

The BLE carries out spot checks of compliance with the marketing standard for certain fishery products at import level outside of the German seaports.

In addition, the BLE carries out spot checks of compliance with rules and regulations concerning the labelling of fishery products at the import level outside of the German seaports.