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USDA Considers Easing Restrictions on Oranges from Korea, Pork from Mexico

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Oranges. The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to remove its prohibition on the importation of two Unshu orange hybrids from South Korea into the continental United States. Comments on this proposed rule are due no later than Sept. 29.

Under this rule, the two hybrids would be eligible for importation subject to the existing conditions for the importation of Unshu oranges from Korea. Those conditions include surface treatment of the fruit prior to packing, registration of the packinghouse in which the treatment is applied and the fruit is packed with the national plant protection organization of South Korea, and certification that the fruit has been treated in accordance with the regulations and has been inspected and found to be free of sweet orange scab. APHIS is also proposing to add to these conditions an explicit statement that only commercial consignments of Unshu oranges are eligible for importation, which would codify current practice.

Pork. APHIS is also proposing to define a region in Mexico as low-risk for classical swine fever and to allow the importation of fresh pork and pork products from this region under certain conditions. This region would encompass all Mexican states other than the nine states APHIS has already recognized as free of CSF, which could continue to export live swine and pork and pork products to the U.S. subject to specified conditions, and the state of Chiapas, which has not been recognized as free of CSF and may not export pork and pork products to the U.S.

Under this rule, fresh pork and pork products from the defined region would have to be derived from swine raised on farms meeting stringent sanitary and biosecurity requirements, there would be safeguards against commingling with animals and products that do not meet the proposed requirements, and establishments that slaughter the swine from which the pork or pork products are derived would have to allow periodic inspection and evaluation of their facilities, records and operations by APHIS. Imports of live swine from this region would continue to be prohibited.

Comments on this proposed rule are due no later than Sept. 29.

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