USDA Offers Flexibility for Lemon Imports from Chile
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule that, effective May 7, will allow imports of lemons from Chile into the continental U.S. subject to a systems approach that includes the following elements.
- the lemons will have to be grown in a place of production registered with the government of Chile and certified as having a low prevalence of Brevipalpus chilensis
- the lemons will have to undergo pre-harvest sampling at the registered production site under the direction of Chile’s national plant protection organization
- following post-harvest processing, the lemons will have to be inspected in Chile at an APHIS-approved inspection site
- each consignment will have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the lemons had been found free of B. chilensis based on field and packinghouse inspections
APHIS notes that this rule will not change the number of lemons produced by Chile for export to the U.S. but will provide an alternative to methyl bromide fumigation.