The export of tree nuts to the European Union (EU) is subject to a maximum residue limit (MRL) of 1.5 ppm for the fungicide fosetyl-Al. As fosetyl-Al readily hydrolyzes to phosphonic acid, the residue of fosetyl-Al is quantitated as the “sum of fosetyl, phosphonic acid, and their salts”. Unfortunately, phosphonate in tree nut extracts can originate from several sources other than fosetyl-Al, particularly when analyzed according to the EURL-SRM method, and if levels of fosetyl-Al exceed the MRL it impacts the export of tree nuts to the EU from the US (valued at $2.7 billion in 2014). The results from a multi-instrument, inter-laboratory study have recently demonstrated the limitations of the current EU methodology, which include:: poor extraction efficiency in tree nuts, low repeatability and of particular concern, false positive results obtained when high levels of phosphate (regularly found in California tree nuts) are present. In this presentation we will discuss the use of capillary electrophoresis, coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (CESI-MS/MS), an orthogonal technique to LC-MS/MS, which has been found to offer a promising alternative addressing these challenges.