Fresh Blueberries from Morocco to be Allowed Into Continental U.S.
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule that, effective Aug. 29, will allow the importation of fresh blueberries from Morocco into the continental United States. As a condition of entry, such blueberries must be produced under a systems approach employing a combination of mitigation measures for two quarantine pests (Ceratitis capitata and Monilinia fructigena) and must be inspected prior to exportation from Morocco and found free of these pests. The blueberries may be imported in commercial consignments only and must be treated with one of two approved post-harvest treatments to mitigate C. capitata. The blueberries will have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the conditions for importation have been met.
According to APHIS, Morocco expects to annually export 360,000 pounds of fresh blueberries to the continental U.S., which is about one-tenth of one percent of U.S. domestic supply between 2007 and 2012. Shipments are expected to arrive in July and August, during the latter part of the U.S. season.