Morocco citrus

Morocco’s National Office for Health Security of Food Products, the ONSSA, has announced the signing of a deal with Aphis, the US’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, to permit the return of Moroccan citrus to the US by October.

Moroccan citrus was banned from entering the US in January after the discovery of a shipment of clementines infestedwith thelarvae of the Mediterranean fruit fly.

Moroccan and US phytosanitary authorities concluded that additional measures needed to be introduced, especially in the orchards and packhouses.

Following two US missions to Morocco, and guarantees from ONSSA and various experts, an operational action plan for managing the fruit fly has been established, allowing trade to recommence.

The announcement is good news for Moroccan citrus exporters, which send around 44,000 tonnes a year to the US, be that 9 per cent of their total exports.