USDA Seeks Comment on Proposed Changes for the Importation of Fresh Citrus from South Africa into the United States

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared and is accepting comments on a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) regarding fresh citrus imports from South Africa. Based on the findings of the CIED, APHIS experts determined that grapefruit, lemon, mandarin orange, sweet orange, tangelo, and Satsuma mandarin fruit from South Africa may be imported into the United States without restrictions on the ports of entry. Currently, fresh citrus from South Africa must be cold treated and imports are restricted to Newark, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Wilmington, DE, and Houston, TX due to the presence of false codling moth in South Africa.

APHIS conducted enhanced inspections for false codling moth on citrus from South Africa at the four authorized ports over a two-year period.  During that time, more than 2,000 shipments of citrus were imported with no detections of live false codling moth. As a result we are proposing to remove the port restrictions and authorize the importation of citrus from South Africa into all ports of entry in the United States.

You may view the CIED in the Federal Register when it is published on April 1, 2020 and submit comments until June 1, 2020, 60 days after the publication date.  The docket will be available upon publication here:!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0091. After reviewing the comments, APHIS will announce its decision regarding the import status of fresh citrus from South Africa in a final notice.