APHIS Prohibits the Importation of Pomegranate Arils from Peru into the United States due to Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata)

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) prohibits the importation of pomegranate arils from Peru into the United States. APHIS is taking this action in response to two detections of Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) larvae in commercial shipments of pomegranate arils from Peru.

Prior to this Federal Order, pomegranate arils were commercially enterable into the United States with inspection at the first port of entry. In May 2018, Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists at Los Angeles International Airport detected Medfly larvae in two commercial consignments of pomegranate arils from Peru. Due to the pest risk, APHIS has determined that prohibition of pomegranate arils from Peru is immediately necessary to prevent the entry of Medfly into the United States, pending an investigation and appropriate remedial measures. This prohibition applies to both commercial shipments and passenger baggage. This prohibition does not affect the commercial importation of whole pomegranate fruit from Peru, which remain enterable with treatment. Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Comments on several draft pest risk assessments

The governments of Swaziland, China and Brazil have asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of various commodities for consumption into the continental United States.  APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that lists potential pests likely to remain on the commodity upon importation if no mitigations are applied.

These risk assessments include citrus, pomegranates and jujube. Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Comments on Draft Pest Risk Assessments for Mamey Sapote and Sapodilla from Mexico

The government of Mexico has asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of mamey sapote and sapodilla for consumption into the continental United States.  APHIS has drafted pest risk assessments that list potential pests likely to remain on each commodity upon importation if no mitigations are applied.  Continue reading

APHIS Reopens Comment Period: Importation of Hass Avocados from Colombia

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is reopening the comment period for a proposed rule that would allow the importation of Hass avocados from Colombia into the continental United States.  We are also notifying the public of the availability of a revised pest risk assessment (PRA) and risk management document (RMD) associated with the proposed rule. Reopening the comment period will allow interested persons time to review the new information and to submit comments by the new closing date of February 16, 2017.

The PRA that we used to draft the RMD considered the pink hibiscus mealybug a significant pest that could follow the Hass avocados pathway from Colombia to the continental United States. We have subsequently determined that growing conditions for Hass avocados in Colombia, as well as the standard packinghouse practices used to prepare the fruit for commercial export effectively preclude the pink hibiscus mealybug from following the pathway from Colombia to the continental United States. Continue reading