Background

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule that, effective Oct. 16, will add orchid plants of the genera Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium from South Korea to the list of plants that may be imported into the continental U.S. in an approved growing medium. Such orchids must be produced, handled, and imported in accordance with the requirements of 7 CFR 319.37-8(e) and accompanied at the time of importation by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Korea declaring that those requirements have been met.

APHIS states that this rule would enable Korean exporters to provide higher-valued, mature potted plants directly to wholesalers and retailers but that such a scenario is unlikely given the technical challenges and marketing costs incurred when shipping finished plants in pots. More likely, APHIS states, is that Korean exporters will ship immature plants as bare root plants or in approved growing media to U.S. nurseries to grow and sell as finished plants. APHIS expects the quantity of subject orchids imported from Korea to be limited because of the competitive environment of the U.S. market.

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