Fresh blueberries from Morocco have been cleared for shipment to the US. A decision by the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis), which takes effect from 29 August, means commercial shipments will be permitted provided certain phytosanitary conditions are 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.
As a condition of entry, the blueberries must be produced under a systems approach employing a combination of mitigation measures for two quarantine pests, Ceratitis capitata and Monilinia fructigena, and must be inspected prior to exportation from Morocco and found free of these pests. Only blueberries treated with one of two approved postharvest treatments against C. capitata will be permitted.