Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that it is authorizing the importation of cold-treated fresh citrus fruit from South Africa into all U.S. ports of entry. After careful review, APHIS scientists determined that citrus fruit from South Africa, which is cold treated in transit, can safely enter all U.S. ports of entry without increasing the risk of introducing the false coddling moth or other pests of concern. Previously, APHIS restricted the entry of cold-treated citrus fruit from South Africa to four U.S. ports that have cold treatment facilities. This restriction gave us the option of cold treating the fruit should the in-transit treatment not be completed prior to arrival.
APHIS’ decision is based on the findings of a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) that the agency made available to the public for review and comment through a previous notice. APHIS also conducted intensive inspections for false codling moth on citrus from South Africa over a two-year period at the four previously authorized ports: Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Houston, Texas. During that time, more than 2,000 shipments of citrus were imported with no detections of live false codling moth. This action is not expected to significantly increase the volume of citrus imports from South Africa.
This decision harmonizes the entry conditions for cold-treated citrus fruit from South Africa with those of other cold-treated commodities. It will go into effect following publication in the Federal Register on November 5, 2020. APHIS will list the revised conditions in the Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements database here: https://epermits.aphis.usda.gov/manual. To view the notice, pest list, CIED, economic evaluation assessment, and the comments that we received, go to: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2018-0091.
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