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USDA Eases Restrictions on Imports of Cattle from Mexico

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule that, effective March 30, will remove certain restrictions on the importation of cattle and other ruminants from the Mexican state of Sonora and reduce the costs associated with tick dipping for exporters and importers of ruminants. Specifically, this rule recognizes Sonora as a region in Mexico that is free of fever ticks and establishes an exemption from the acaricide dipping treatment requirements (and the associated documentation requirements) applicable to cattle and other ruminants originating from Sonora as a condition of eligibility for entry into the U.S., provided that certain conditions are met. However, APHIS does not expect this rule to result in an increase of any consequence in the number of cattle imported from Mexico.

Under this rule, conditions for entry include the following.

- the cattle must be accompanied by a certificate stating that they originate from a region of Mexico free of fever ticks

- cattle transiting through an area of Mexico not determined to be free from fever ticks must be moved in a sealed means of conveyance

- the cattle must be presented for entry at specified ports of entry in Texas

- the cattle must be segregated at the U.S. port of entry from cattle from regions of Mexico not determined to be free of fever ticks

- the importer or its agent must execute and deliver to the inspector at the port of entry an application for inspection or supervised dipping

- the cattle must either be inspected by an APHIS inspector at the port of entry for evidence of tick infestation or be treated with an APHIS-approved tickicidal dip under the supervision of an inspector at the port of entry (this gives exporters the option of avoiding the expense of the tick dip but that some may still opt for it because it is generally less time-consuming than an inspection)

- if any cattle in a shipment are determined, upon inspection at the port of entry, to be infested with fever ticks, the entire lot will be refused entry and may only be imported after meeting the conditions for the importation of cattle from regions of Mexico that APHIS has not determined to be free from fever ticks

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