USDA News: ACE Test Concluded; Imports of Tomatoes, Peppers, Carrots
ACE Test Concluded
The Agricultural Marketing Service has announced that a pilot test involving the submission of data related to imports of fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops to the Automated Commercial Environment via the partner government agency message set will conclude Sept. 2. AMS states that this pilot was successful in that the PGA message set was deemed to have the operational capabilities necessary to electronically collect this data and AMS’s Compliance Enforcement Management System was deemed to have the operational capabilities necessary to analyze that data.
Import Restrictions Expanded on Tomatoes and Peppers
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is amending the import requirements for tomatoes and peppers for consumption by adding restrictions for tomatoes and peppers from the Dominican Republic, France, and Spain. APHIS has detected tomato brown rugose fruit virus in tomatoes imported from the DR and received official reports of the disease in France and Spain.
As a result, effective June 5 APHIS is requiring require fresh tomatoes and peppers imported from the DR, France, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Spain (countries approved to export tomatoes and/or peppers where the virus is present) to be inspected to ensure they are free of disease symptoms. Countries that already require a phytosanitary certificate for tomatoes and/or peppers, such as France, Israel, the Netherlands, and Spain, must now include an additional declaration that the fruit was inspected and found free of the virus.
For countries that currently do not require a phytosanitary certificate for tomatoes and/or peppers, such as the DR, Canada, and Mexico, shipments must be accompanied by an industry inspection certification document issued by the grower or packer that contains language identical to the required additional declaration and includes identifying information about the inspector, grower, and packinghouse. This alternative to a phytosanitary certificate is an interim measure until the risk has been more thoroughly analyzed and a long-term solution can be established.
APHIS continues to restrict the importation of tomatoes and peppers worldwide to commercial consignments.
Carrots from Korea Authorized
APHIS has determined that fresh carrots from Korea may be authorized for importation after June 5. Such imports are subject to a number of phytosanitary measures, including the following.
- importation in commercial consignments only
- grown in places of production, and packed in packinghouses, registered by Korea’s national plant protection organization as part of an export program to the U.S.
- the NPPO of Korea must review and maintain all forms and documents related to export program activities in registered places of production and packinghouses for at least one year
- taproots must be washed and disinfected and free of soil and green tops
- each consignment accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Korea with an additional declaration that the consignment was produced and prepared for export in accordance with the operational workplan and found free of pests of quarantine concern