USDA Proposes to Allow Limited Imports of Bananas from the Philippines
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is accepting comments through March 31 on a proposed rule that would allow the importation of fresh bananas from the Philippines into Guam, Hawaii and the Northern Mariana Islands. As a condition of entry, the bananas would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that would include requirements for importation of commercial consignments, monitoring of fruit flies to establish low-prevalence places of production, harvesting only of hard green bananas, and inspection for quarantine pests by the national plant protection organization of the Philippines. The bananas would also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that they were grown, packed, inspected and found to be free of quarantine pests in accordance with the proposed requirements.
Bananas from the Philippines may already be imported into the continental U.S. under a rule that took effect in February 2013.