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USDA Proposes to Ease Restrictions on Mangoes from Philippines, Oranges from Japan

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is accepting comments through June 9 on two proposed rules that would ease existing restrictions on imports of mangoes from the Philippines and Unshu oranges from Japan.

Mangoes. APHIS is proposing to expand the list of designated pest-free areas within the Philippines by recognizing the mango growing regions of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao as free of mango seed weevil and mango pulp weevil and the island of Palawan as free of mango seed weevil. If finalized, this change would allow mangoes from these areas to be imported into the U.S. APHIS is also proposing to lower the dose required if irradiation is used as a treatment for mango pulp weevil.

APHIS states that given the Philippines’ current very small share of total U.S. mango imports (less than 0.002%) and the proximity of major Latin American sources, the additional quantity of fresh mango that may be imported from the Philippines because of this rule is unlikely to make an appreciable difference in the total quantity imported. Similarly, any effect on U.S. mango farms is expected to be inconsequential given the very small change expected to total imports.

Oranges. APHIS is proposing to remove requirements for Unshu oranges from Japan 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 prior to and during harvest and in the packinghouses during packing operations. Instead, these oranges would have to be imported in commercial consignments that are practically free of leaves, twigs and other plant parts. This rule would also clarify that surface sterilization of the fruit must be conducted in accordance with APHIS regulations and require each shipment to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate containing an additional declaration stating that the fruit was given the required surface sterilization.

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