USDA Eases Restrictions on Imports of Beef, Mangoes, Achachairú Fruit
Beef. The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced a final decision to concur with the World Organization for Animal Health’s (OIE) bovine spongiform encephalopathy risk designations for 15 regions. Specifically, APHIS is recognizing Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore and Slovenia as regions of negligible risk and Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Nicaragua and Taiwan as regions of controlled risk.
This notice follows a November 2013 final rule providing that the conditions for the importation of live bovines and products derived from bovines are based on the inherent risk of BSE infectivity in specified commodities as well as the BSE risk status of the region in which the commodities originate. APHIS said at the time that under this rule commodities that had been restricted but pose negligible risk for BSE could be imported, while commodities that present a risk of BSE would continue to be restricted.
Mangoes. APHIS has issued a final rule that, effective Oct. 1, expands the list of designated pest-free areas for mango seed weevil and mango pulp weevil within the Philippines. This rule also amends the Plant Protection and Quarantine Treatment Manual to establish as an authorized treatment for mango pulp weevil a specific approved dose of irradiation (165 Gray) that is lower than the current generic dose for most plant pests of the class Insecta.
Prior to this rule, USDA regulations only allowed mangoes to be imported into the continental U.S. from the Philippines if they were produced on the island of Guimaras, which was determined to be free of both mango seed weevil and mango pulp weevil. Mangoes from all other areas of the Philippines except Palawan were eligible for importation into Hawaii and Guam only. Mangoes from the island of Palawan were prohibited entry into all areas of the U.S. due to the presence of mango pulp weevil.
Under this final rule, mangoes may be imported from (a) the mango growing regions of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, which have been determined to be free of mango seed weevil and mango pulp weevil, (b) the island of Palawan, which has been determined to be free of mango seed weevil, if treated with irradiation at a dose of 165 Gray, and (c) other areas of the Philippines that are treated for mango pulp weevil with the new pest-specific irradiation dose and for mango seed weevil with the current dose.
APHIS notes that given the Philippines’ current very small share of the U.S. mango import market and the proximity of major Latin American sources, the additional quantity of fresh mango that may potentially be imported from the Philippines because of this rule is unlikely to make an appreciable difference in the total quantity imported.
Achachairú Fruit. APHIS has issued notice of its decision to begin allowing the movement of fresh achachairú fruit from Puerto Rico into the continental United States, subject to the following phytosanitary measures: (1) the fruit must be transported interstate as commercial consignments only; and (2) each consignment must be inspected in pre-departure clearance for pests by APHIS prior to shipment.