USDA Expands Options for Importing Kiwi Fruit from Chile
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule that, effective Oct. 19, will amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to list kiwi fruit from Chile as eligible for importation into the United States subject to the following systems approach.
- the fruit must be grown in a place of production that is registered with the government of Chile and certified as having a low prevalence of Brevipalpus chilensis
- the fruit must undergo pre-harvest sampling at the registered production site
- following post-harvest processing, the fruit must be inspected in Chile at an approved inspection site
- each consignment of fruit must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the fruit has been found free of Brevipalpus chilensis based on field and packinghouse inspections
APHIS notes that the U.S. is dependent on imports for about 80 percent of its kiwi supply and that half of all imported kiwis came from Chile in 2012, up from one-third in 2008. With Chile expected to continue to dominate the supply of kiwi to the U.S. in the near term, this rule gives Chilean kiwi exporters the option of meeting U.S. import requirements using the systems approach outlined above rather than relying on fumigation with methyl bromide. APHIS adds that kiwi imports from Chile are largely counter-seasonal to kiwi sales by U.S. producers, suggesting that the economic impact of this rule for U.S. small entities will be minor.