USDA News: Grape Imports, Meat from Two Countries
Grape Varieties Retain Exemptions from Import Requirements
The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has withdrawn a June 2017 proposal that would have removed from the table grape import regulation, as well as the regulations established under the California table grape marketing order, administrative exemptions previously granted for other varieties of imported grapes.
AMS states that under this rule all table grapes imported into the U.S. during the period April 10 through July 10 each year would have been subject to grade, size, quality, and maturity regulations specified in the import regulation and would have been subject to inspection and certification requirements. This would have removed exemptions from such requirements for four varieties of grapes (Emperor, Calmeria, Almeria, and Ribier), as well as 16 other varieties genetically related to one or more of the four exempted varieties, that are not grown within the regulated production area.
Restrictions on Meat Imports from Ecuador and Serbia May be Eased
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced its preliminary concurrence with the World Organization for Animal Health’s (OIE’s) recognition of Ecuador as being of controlled risk and Serbia as being of negligible risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy. If this concurrence is finalized APHIS would ease restrictions on meat imports from these countries. Comments are due no later than Dec. 24.