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USDA Delays Allowing Imports of Fresh Lemons from Northwest Argentina

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has delayed for 60 days the effective date of a final rule allowing the importation of fresh lemons from northwest Argentina into the continental U.S. This rule was to have taken effect Jan. 23, but President Trump issued a memo Jan. 20 directing all federal agencies to postpone for 60 days pending regulations that had not taken effect as of that date.

Once this rule is effective, as a condition of entry subject lemons will have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that includes requirements for importation in commercial consignments; registration and monitoring of places of production and packinghouses; pest-free places of production; grove sanitation, monitoring, and pest control practices; treatment with a surface disinfectant; lot identification; and inspection for quarantine pests by the Argentine national plant protection organization.

Additionally, lemons from northwest Argentina will have to be harvested green and within a certain time period or treated for Mediterranean fruit fly in accordance with an approved treatment schedule. Such lemons will also be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that they have been inspected and found to be free of quarantine pests and were produced in accordance with all applicable requirements.

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