Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is advising the public of its decision to authorize the importation of fresh cape gooseberry fruit from Ecuador into the United States. On April 20, 2018, APHIS published a proposed rule to allow the importation of gooseberry fruit from Ecuador, along with a pest risk analysis (PRA) and risk management document. After reviewing comments received during the 60-day comment period, we have determined that the phytosanitary measures outlined in the proposed rule and PRA will minimize the risk of introducing plant pests into the United States.
Publishing the final notice is one of several steps that must be completed before Ecuador may begin shipping gooseberry to the United States. APHIS and its Ecuadorian counterparts must now finalize and implement the operational conditions Ecuador must meet for every U.S.-bound gooseberry shipment. APHIS will not issue import permits for Ecuadorian gooseberries until these steps are completed.
APHIS published the proposed rule to allow the importation of gooseberry fruit from Ecuador prior to a final rule effective October 15, 2018 that revised the import approval process. Previously, APHIS required proposed and final rules to allow a new commodity access to the U.S. market. Under the new system, APHIS will make a PRA and risk management document detailing pest mitigation measures available for public comment in the Federal Register, and—after carefully considering all comments received—announce its decision to allow the fruit or vegetable entry to the United States in a subsequent notice. For this reason we are withdrawing the proposed rule and finalizing this action with a notice rather than a final rule.