Authorities in the US are considering plans to allow imports of fresh blueberries from Morocco. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis) has opened a 60-day consultation period on a proposal that would enable blueberries treated and declared free of the pests Ceratitis capitata and Monilinia fructigena to be imported into the continental US.
“The blueberries would have to be imported in commercial consignments only and would have to be treated with one of two approved postharvest treatments to mitigate the risk of Ceratitis capita,” Aphis stated. “The blueberries would also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the conditions for importation have been met.”
Moroccan officials say fresh blueberry exports to the US could reach 163 tonnes a year, with shipments taking place in July and August. Even though this overlaps with the US production season, which runs from April to August, the small quantities involved would not have a significant impact on domestic producers, Aphis said.