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Maura Maxwell



Tuesday 5th January 2016, 02:43 Central Time

US halts Spanish pepper, Colombian citrus imports

Aphis decision to suspend pepper imports comes after Medfly found in several consignments

US halts Spanish pepper, Colombian citrus imports

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The USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service (Aphis) announced last week that it has suspended imports of Spanish peppers following the discovery of Mediterranean fruit fly in a number of consignments arriving at US ports.

Aphis said the ban also applied to overland in-bond transit movements of peppers south of 390 latitude and west of 1040 longitude.

Figures from Spanish exporter federation Fepex showed that of the 669,317 tonnes of peppers the country exported in 2014, 20,828 tonnes was shipped to non-EU markets. Shipments to the US average around 1,000 tonnes a year.

Aphis has also suspended citrus imports, including oranges, tangerines, mandarins and grapefruit, from Colombia. All permits issued for this type of entry are being cancelled or amended when permits include other enterable commodities. Aphis said it was taking the action to review the efficacy of current pest risk mitigations for the pest complexes associated with this fruit in Colombia.

The suspensions will remain in place until further notice.

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