Import Restrictions Eased on Unshu Oranges from Japan
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule that, effective Nov. 26, will remove certain restrictions on the importation of Unshu oranges from Japan. Specifically, this rule:
- removes requirements for the fruit to be grown in specified canker-free export areas with buffer zones and for joint inspection in the groves and packinghouses by the government of Japan and APHIS;
- clarifies that surface sterilization of the fruit must be conducted in accordance with APHIS regulations; and
- requires that each shipment be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate containing an additional declaration stating that the fruit was given the required surface sterilization.
APHIS notes that the Japanese Unshu orange share of the U.S. market for mandarin varieties is expected to be negligible, as past imports have served a specialty market during a limited time of the year and garner a premium price. In addition, the 500 metric tons that Japan expects may be exported to the United States would be equivalent to less than one-tenth of one percent of the U.S. supply of mandarin varieties in 2012.