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USDA Proposes Allowing Imports of Dracaena Plants from Costa Rica

Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is requesting comments by Jan. 3 on a proposal to amend the plants for planting regulations to provide conditions for the importation into the continental U.S. of Dracaena spp. plants from Costa Rica. These conditions would apply to plants less than 460 mm in length, which are currently allowed to be imported, as well as plants over 460 mm and up to 1,371.6 mm in length, which are currently prohibited.

Dracaena is a genus of about 40 species of tree- and shrub-like plants. Several species are grown as houseplants for their decorative strap-like foliage, low maintenance requirements and tolerance of a wide range of growing conditions. Popular Dracaena spp. houseplants include Dracaena fragrans, commonly known as the corn plant, and Dracaena sanderiana, commonly known as lucky bamboo.

As a condition of entry, Dracaena spp. plants from Costa Rica would have to be produced in accordance with integrated pest risk management measures that would include requirements for registration of places of production and packinghouses, a pest management plan, inspection for quarantine pests, sanitation, and traceability from place of production through the packing and export facility and to the port of entry into the U.S. They would also be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that all conditions for the importation of the plants have been met and that the consignment of plants has been inspected and found free of quarantine pests.

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