APHIS Authorizes Importation of Fresh Citrus Fruit from China

<strong>From the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS</strong>)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is authorizing the importation of five types of commercially produced fresh citrus fruit from China into the continental United States. After thorough analysis, APHIS scientists determined that pummelo, Nanfeng honey mandarin, ponkan, sweet orange, and Satsuma mandarin fruit from China can be safely imported into the United States under a systems approach to protect against the introduction of plant pests.

A systems approach is a series of measures taken by growers, packers, and shippers that, in combination, minimize pest risks prior to importation into the United States. In this case, the systems approach includes importation in commercial consignments only, registration of places of production and packinghouses, certification that the fruit is free of quarantine pests, trapping program for fruit flies, periodic inspections of places of production, grove sanitation, and postharvest disinfection and treatment. This completes agreements on another Chinese commodity listed in Annex 11: Plant Health of the Economic and Trade Agreement between the United States of America and The People’s Republic of China, Phase One.
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<strong>California Citrus Mutual’s Response</strong>

<strong> </strong>Implementation of the Phase One agreement with China continues with reduced tariffs for citrus. As part of the Phase One deal, APHIS was required to act to approve Chinese citrus access to the United States. That approval is now finalized. CCM, along with CCQC, commented in opposition to the proposal based upon technical pest concerns related to APHIS’ systems approach. However, California citrus shipments to China with reduced tariffs would have been in jeopardy had APHIS not followed through on their commitment. CCM nor APHIS believe that Chinese citrus will be exported to the U.S. in any significant quantity, but we will continue to monitor both the economic and phytosanitary issues if they do.

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