Background

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced that effective Feb. 8 it is prohibiting the importation of tangerines, clementines, mandarins and sweet oranges from Morocco. APHIS is also prohibiting overland in-bond transit movements of tangerine, clementine, mandarin and sweet orange fruit south of 39 degrees latitude and west of 104 degrees longitude in the U.S. This prohibition applies to all importation and movement, including commercial and non-commercial cargo, passenger baggage, international mail and express courier shipments.

The affected fruits had been allowed into the U.S. subject to cold treatment and inspection upon arrival, but on Jan. 13 U.S. Customs and Border Protection detected live Mediterranean fruit fly larvae on commercial consignments of cold-treated clementines imported from Morocco. APHIS states that the prohibition will remain in place until it and Morocco’s national plant protection organization investigate and take necessary actions to mitigate the pest risk.

However, affected goods destined for any U.S. port of entry will be allowed to enter if they have (a) an onboard date that is not later than Jan. 21, (b) successfully completed cold treatment, and (c) passed inspection at the U.S. port of entry prior to Feb. 8.

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