Public comment is being sought on a proposed rule under which the US would allow fresh apples and pears into the continental US from 8 EU countries – Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Poland Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands.
The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said the proposed new import requirements would replace the existing preclearance program with a systems approach that includes appropriate pest risk mitigation.
“The U.S. would only accept commercial shipments of fresh apple and pear fruit from these countries if the shipments are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate, with additional declaration followed by port of entry inspection. The proposed risk mitigation measures for fresh apple and pear fruit consist of orchard and packing house certification, inspection of registered orchards twice a season, orchard pest control and sanitation, post-harvest safeguards, fruit culling, traceback, sampling, and cold treatment against Medfly in countries where the pest is known to occur.
The proposed rule is due to be published in the US Federal Register and be available for public comment as of Wednesday, January 20. The proposal can be read on the APHIS web site at:http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/federal_register/eu_apples_pears.pdf