Background

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to authorize the importation of Phalaenopsis spp. orchid plants from Costa Rica in approved growing media. Comments on this proposal are due no later than May 4.

As a condition of entry, such plants would have to meet all relevant requirements included in the USDA Plants for Planting Manual and detailed in a bilateral workplan, including the following.

- accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Costa Rica

- developed from mother stock that was inspected and found free from evidence of quarantine pests

- grown solely in a greenhouse in which sanitary procedures adequate to exclude quarantine pests are always employed

- rooted and grown in an active state of foliar growth for at least four consecutive months immediately prior to importation

- be grown from seeds germinated in the greenhouse unit or descended from a mother plant grown for at least nine months in Costa Rica prior to importation of the descendant plants

- watered only with rainwater that has been boiled or pasteurized, with clean well water, or with potable water

- rooted and grown in approved growing media

- stored and packaged only in areas free of sand, soil, earth, and quarantine pests

- inspected in the greenhouse and found free from evidence of quarantine pests by an APHIS or NPPO inspector

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