USDA Proposes to Allow Imports of Orchid Plants in Growing Media from Taiwan
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to add orchid plants of the genus Oncidium from Taiwan to the list of plants that may be imported into the United States in an approved growing medium. These plants would have to be produced, handled and imported in accordance with the requirements of 7 CFR 319.37-8(e) and be accompanied at the time of importation by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Taiwan that declares that those requirements have been met. Currently, such plants may only be imported as bare root plants, but the government of Taiwan has requested the change. Comments on this proposed rule are due no later than Feb. 2, 2015.
APHIS notes that Oncidium spp. represent a relatively small portion of the orchid market and orchid trade, with a market share of between 15 and 25 percent, and that any impact from this rule is thus expected to be minimal. While the proposed change could lead to an expanded market for this genus, APHIS adds, any increase is likely to be limited given the flower’s unusual appearance.