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USDA Proposes to Expand Imports of Hass Avocados from Mexico

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to allow the importation of fresh Hass avocado fruit into the continental United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico from all of Mexico provided that individual Mexican states meet specified requirements. Initially, this change would only apply to the Mexican state of Jalisco. Comments on the proposed rule are due no later than April 20.

Currently, commercial consignments of Hass avocado fruit are authorized entry into the continental U.S., Hawaii and Puerto Rico from the Mexican state of Michoacán under a systems approach that includes requirements for orchard certification, limited production area, trace back labeling, pre-harvest orchard surveys, orchard sanitation, post-harvest safeguards, fruit cutting and inspection at the packinghouse, port of arrival inspection and clearance activities. With the exception of a clarification of the language concerning when sealed, insect-proof containers would be required to be used in shipping and the removal of mandatory fruit cutting at land and maritime borders, the proposed rule would impose this systems approach for imports of fresh Hass avocado fruit from all approved areas of Mexico as well. Such fruit would also be required to be imported in commercial consignments and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Mexico with an additional declaration stating that the consignment was produced in accordance with the systems approach described in the operational workplan.

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