Imports of Tomatoes from Aruba Restricted
Effective May 5, the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a federal order suspending imports of all untreated red and pink tomatoes from Aruba in response to confirmed detections of Mediterranean fruit fly in that country. However, APHIS notes that the impact of this restriction on trade is not expected to be significant because Aruba has not exported commercial volumes of tomatoes to the U.S. in the last five years.
APHIS does not consider green tomatoes a Medfly host as long as their surface area is no more than 30 percent pink or red at the time of harvesting. As a result, APHIS can permit commercial shipments of green tomatoes from Aruba subject to inspection at the port of entry and compliance with all general requirements of 7 CFR 319.56-3. In addition, APHIS is requiring the Aruba national plant protection organization to certify that the tomatoes are harvested green through the issuance of a phytosanitary certificate.
APHIS states that these restrictions apply to all importations and in-bond movements, including commercial and non-commercial cargo, passenger baggage, international mail and express courier shipments.