May 26, 2016
APHIS expands importation of Mexican avocados

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its regulations to allow the importation of Hass avocados into the continental United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico from all areas of Mexico under a systems approach.

Currently, APHIS allows Hass avocados from Michoacán, Mexico, to be imported into the United States under a systems approach that mitigates quarantine pests of concern. In October 2010, Mexico’s national plant protection organization formally requested that USDA allow the importation of commercial Hass avocado shipments from all of Mexico. After completing a comprehensive pest risk assessment and additional risk management documents, APHIS has determined that Hass avocados from all states in Mexico can be safely imported into the continental United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, utilizing the current systems approach with a few minor revisions. Exports from interested states can begin once an approved operational work plan is in place.

APHIS will require that Mexican states undertake a number of safeguards in order to export their Hass avocados, including orchard certification, traceback labeling, pre-harvest orchard surveys, orchard sanitation, postharvest safeguards, fruit cutting and inspection at the packinghouse and port-of-arrival inspection. Additionally, APHIS will require the fruit be imported in commercial consignments and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating the systems approach has been followed.

The final rule will be effective June 27, and can be found in the Federal Register.

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