Chilean lemons would be allowed into the US without needing methyl bromide fumigation under a change being considered by the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis).
Fumigation is currently required to reduce the risk of infestation by the false red mite. But under the possible new rule, commercial consignments would be allowed into the US subject to the following ‘systems approach’:
- the production sites where the lemons are grown would have to be registered annually with the national plant protection organisation (NPPO) of Chile and certified as low prevalence production sites,
- shipments would be subject to post-harvest processing and phytosanitary inspection in Chile at an Aphis-approved inspection site,
- any shipment not passing initial inspection could still be imported if fumigated with methyl bromide in Chile or at the post of first entry into the US,
- all consignments would have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the NPPO of Chile containing an additional declaration that the fruit was produced according to the import requirements.
On or about April 4, Aphis will publish the proposed new rule and open a 60-day comment period. Once published, comments on the proposed rule can be submitted on-line here.
Source: Aphis stakeholder announcement