Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is updating its regulations to allow the importation of fresh lemons (Citrus limon) from Chile under a systems approach. The systems approach is a combination of prescribed measures that must be taken by Chilean growers, packers, and shippers to minimize the risk of importing Chilean false red mite(Brevipalpus chilensis) into the United States. Previously, APHIS only allowed the importation of Chilean lemons after they received an approved methyl bromide treatment to eliminate the pest risk.
In this case, the systems approach requires registration of production sites, a citrus wash-and-rinse protocol to remove the mite, and inspection in Chile to ensure all mites have been removed. A phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating the lemons meet these conditions and are free of the Chilean false red mite must accompany all shipments. Any shipments containing mites will not qualify for entry under the systems approach and must be fumigated with methyl bromide.
APHIS currently allows the importation of other citrus fruits from Chile under the same systems approach. The rule becomes effective on May 7, 2018, thirty days after publication in the Federal Register.
Source: USDA APHIS