Jan 15, 2016
APHIS might allow fresh apple and pear imports from Europe

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will be publishing in the Federal Register a proposed rule that would allow the importation of fresh apple and pear fruit from eight European Union member countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Poland Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands. The new import requirements would replace the existing preclearance program with a systems approach that includes appropriate pest risk mitigations.

The U.S. would only accept commercial shipments of fresh apple and pear fruit from these countries if the shipments are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate, with additional declaration followed by port of entry inspection. The proposed risk mitigation measures for fresh apple and pear fruit consist of orchard and packing house certification, inspection of registered orchards twice a season, orchard pest control and sanitation, postharvest safeguards, fruit culling, traceback, sampling and cold treatment against Medfly in countries where the pest is known to occur, according to APHIS.

The proposed rule is scheduled to publish in the Federal Register and be available for public comment on Jan. 20. In the interim, read the proposal here.

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