Fresh Chinese pomelo, Nanfeng honey mandarin, ponkan, sweet orange and Satsuma mandarin could soon be available for export to the US following a pest risk analysis launched by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Following abandoned risk evaluation in 2014, the opportunity for access has been reopened with final comments to be made by 1 July 2019. The USDA said in a Federal Register notice it received a total of 29 comments on the 2014 risk evaluation.
Comments came back from a range of industry representatives including growers, marketing cooperatives, state agriculture departments, private citizens and the National Plant Board.
Concerns were also expressed by China’s plant protection convention around a requirement that citrus is to be bagged with a double-layered paper bag while fruit is still under 2cm on the tree. The misunderstanding that this was standard practice across Chinese citrus grown for export led the proposal to not reach finalisation.
In 2017 China again requested to evaluate risk on the five products and after extensive assessment considering the presence of new pest risks which have arisen since the 2014 evaluation, the USDA has concluded that fresh pomelo, Nanfeng honey mandarin, ponkan, sweet orange and Satsuma mandarin can be imported safely into the US from China.
The USDA has outlined five designated phytosanitary measures for safe importation. It is also proposing to exempt pomelos that meet certain conditions and are grown in areas free of listed pests and diseases.