USDA Issues Notice of Decision to Authorize the Importation of Fresh Raspberry Fruit from Morocco

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 raspberry fruit from Morocco. On August 26, 2016 APHIS published a proposed rule to allow the importation of raspberry from Morocco, along with a pest risk analysis and a 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 Morocco may begin shipping raspberries to the United States. APHIS and its Moroccan counterparts must now finalize and implement the operational conditions Morocco must meet for every U.S.-bound raspberry shipment. APHIS will not issue import permits for Moroccan raspberries until these steps are completed.

APHIS published the proposed rule to allow the importation of raspberry fruit from Morocco 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.