USDA News: Seed Export Certification, Romania Trade Restrictions, Gooseberry Imports
Export Certification Program for Seeds
The Department of Agriculture has announced the launch of a new Seeds for Sprouting Export Certification Program to help U.S. producers and exporters demonstrate and document compliance with European Union regulations covering seeds used to produce sprouts. The program is open to any U.S. seed distributor seeking to export seeds for sprouting to the EU.
USDA states that under this program it conducts audits of participating producers and exporters to verify that their food safety management systems adhere to good agricultural practices and EU hygiene requirements, including all phases of production, handling, distribution, and marketing. For companies that demonstrate compliance USDA will sign and issue an EU health certificate for loads destined for the EU.
Trade Restrictions on Romania May be Lifted
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to recognize Romania as being free of highly pathogenic avian influenza and Newcastle disease. Comments on the associated risk evaluation are due by Nov. 15.
If this rule is finalized, APHIS will lift restrictions on the importation of carcasses, meat, parts or products of carcasses, and eggs (other than hatching eggs) of poultry, game birds, or other birds from Romania.
Gooseberry Imports from Ecuador Authorized
APHIS has announced that fresh cape gooseberry fruit may be imported from Ecuador after Sept. 19. Such imports will be subject to a number of phytosanitary measures, including the following.
- the fruit may be imported in commercial consignments only
- the production site where the fruit is grown must be registered with the national plant protection organization of Ecuador
- each consignment must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Ecuador that contains an additional declaration stating that the fruit was produced in accordance with 7 CFR 319.56-4
- the fruit may be imported without treatment if it is subject to a systems approach consisting of low-prevalence production site certification, fruit fly trapping, and phytosanitary inspection
- fruit that does not meet the requirements of the systems approach may be imported if it is subject to cold treatment or irradiation treatment; if the irradiation is completed in Ecuador each consignment must be accompanied by documentation to validate foreign site preclearance inspection