Fresh Citrus Fruit from Uruguay 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. 9, will allow the importation of several varieties of fresh citrus fruit, as well as citrus hybrids and the citrus-related genus Fortunella, from Uruguay into the continental United States. Included are sweet oranges, lemons, four species of mandarins, and two types of kumquats.
As a condition of entry, this fruit will have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that includes requirements for importation in commercial consignments, pest monitoring and pest control practices, grove sanitation and packinghouse procedures designed to exclude the quarantine pests, and treatment. The fruit also will have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Uruguay with an additional declaration confirming that the fruit is free from all pests of quarantine concern and has been produced in accordance with the systems approach.
APHIS states that while the entry of fresh citrus from this new source may displace production in the U.S. as well as imports from foreign sources like Mexico, Chile, Spain and others, a sizeable displacement of fresh citrus from any source with an existing market share is unlikely given increases in domestic consumption. APHIS adds that Uruguay ranks in the top 20 to 25 of the world’s exporters of fresh citrus but accounts for 1% or less of fresh citrus exports by variety and had a total citrus production in 2011 that was less than 3% of U.S. production.