The USDA has amended its regulations to allow citrus from the whole of Peru to imported into the continental US. Until now imports have been restricted to five approved zones, subject to a systems approach.
“However, based on the findings of a pest list and commodity import evaluation document, we have determined that this systems systems approach also mitigates the plant pest risk associated with citrus fruit produced in all other areas of Peru,” the USDA said in a press release.
“This action will allow the importation of citrus fruit from the entire country of Peru while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the continental US.”
The change is expected to increase the area in Peru approved to produce citrus for export to the US to about 1,500 hectares over three years and is likely to lead to an extra 5,000 tonnes of citrus being shipped to the US in the first year, rising to 6,500 tonnes in the second year and 8,000 tonnes in the third year. These quantities are equivalent to less than 1 per cent of annual US citrus production or imports.
The USDA also announced that it was amending phytosanitary regulations to allow imports of fresh peppers from Peru. As a condition of entry, the peppers will have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that includes requirements for fruit fly trapping, pre-harvest inspections, production sites and packinghouse procedures designed to exclude quarantine pests.
The fruit will also be required to be imported in commercial consignments accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by Senasa with an additional declaration stating that the consignment was produced in accordance with the requirements of the systems approach.