APHIS Launches Webpage for Frequently Requested Records

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is launching a new “Frequently Requested Records” page on our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) e-reading room, in accordance with the FOIA statute. The new page will contain copies of frequently requested records, making it easier for our stakeholders to find information.

On the new page, we will post copies of FOIA-processed records that have been requested and released three or more times.  We will also post items we believe are likely to be requested multiple times.  Finally, on this page, APHIS may in its discretion also post records that it believes are of interest to the public, regardless of a legal requirement to do so.  The page is searchable by keyword or program.  APHIS will continue to update this page on a monthly basis. Continue reading

APHIS Posts Plant Health Trade Directors’ Area of Coverage

APHIS has updated and posted its area of coverage list for Phytosanitary Issues Management Plant Health Trade Directors.

APHIS’ Plant Health Trade Directors work with importers and exporters to develop work plans that ensure imported foreign agricultural commodities and U.S. agricultural exports are free from potentially harmful plant pests and diseases. 
 
Plant Health Trade Directors are part of APHIS’ Phytosanitary Issues Management (PIM) team. PIM facilitates and negotiates, through the use of transparent and science-based processes, the safe export and import of agricultural commodities. PIM serves as the primary point of contact for communication with foreign national plant protection organizations concerning plant health issues impacting agricultural trade.
 
For more information about PIM, please visit the APHIS Web site https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/sa_international/ct_phytosanitary_management

APHIS Publishes Final Rule to Standardize Phytosanitary Treatment Regulations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its treatment regulations to standardize the process for approving new cold treatment facilities in Southern and Western U.S. States. We are also establishing generic criteria that these facilities must follow to safely treat imported commodities. While the new process will eliminate the rulemaking requirement for new cold treatment facilities in Southern and Western States, APHIS will still evaluate each proposed location and approve it only after sufficient safeguards are identified and concurrence from the pertinent State is obtained.  Continue reading

APHIS Removes the Mexican Fruit Fly (Anastrepha ludens) Quarantine Area in Laredo, Webb County, Texas

Effective January 7, 2018, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) removed the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine area in the area of Laredo, Webb County, Texas.

On June 7, 2016, APHIS and TDA established a Mexfly quarantine in a residential area of Laredo, Texas, restricting the interstate movement of regulated articles from this area to prevent the spread of Mexican fruit fly to non-infested areas of the United States. Since that time, APHIS has worked cooperatively with TDA to eradicate the transient Mexfly population through various control actions per program protocols. APHIS removed the quarantine area after three Mexfly life-cycles elapsed with negative detections in the area. This removal of the quarantine area is reflected on the following designated website, which contains a description of the current Federal fruit fly quarantine areas:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/fruit_flies/quarantine.shtml

APHIS Accepts Comments on Updated Import Requirements for Fresh Citrus Fruit from Colombia

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is updating its import requirements for fresh sweet orange, grapefruit, mandarin, clementine, and tangerine fruit from Colombia. After careful analysis, APHIS scientists determined that the import requirements originally established for citrus fruit from Colombia are no longer sufficient and additional phytosanitary measures are necessary to safely import citrus fruit while protecting American agriculture.

Additional measures taken by growers, packers, and shippers will, in combination, minimize pest risks. These measures include limiting imports to commercial consignments only, requiring production sites to be registered and approved by Colombia’s national plant protection organization, fruit fly trapping in production areas, and standard packinghouse procedures. A phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating the citrus fruit meets these conditions must accompany all shipments. Continue reading

APHIS Posts New Pale Cyst Nematode (PCN) Eradication Program Report

APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Pale Cyst Nematode (PCN) Eradication Program in Idaho has posted its 2017 fourth quarter report (October 1 – December 31). The report updates program activities and eradication progress, and provides quarterly and aggregate regulatory, survey and laboratory data.

The PCN Eradication Program is a cooperative effort among PPQ, Idaho State Department of Agriculture, and industry stakeholders. The program’s goal is to control PCN spread, and eventually establish Idaho as PCN-free. Continue reading

APHIS Rescinds the Federal Order Prohibiting the Importation of Certain Citrus Fruit from the Berkane Region in Morocco due to Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata)

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is lifting the Federal Order (DA-2016-79) issued December 23, 2016, which prohibited the importation of tangerines, clementines, mandarins (Citrus reticulata), and sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis) produced in, moved through, or shipped from the Berkane Region in Morocco into the United States. Prior to the Federal Order prohibiting such imports, tangerine, clementine, mandarin, and sweet orange fruit could be imported to the United States subject to commodity import requirements and operational work plan (OWP) safeguards. APHIS took action to ban the citrus due to the detection of live Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) larvae in Berkane citrus at a U.S. port of entry. Continue reading