Background

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced that a final rule allowing the importation of fresh lemons from northwest Argentina into the continental U.S. for the first time since 2001 will take effect May 26. For 2017 and 2018, these lemons may only be imported into the northeastern U.S.

As a condition of entry, subject lemons will have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that includes requirements for importation in commercial consignments; registration and monitoring of places of production and packinghouses; pest-free places of production; grove sanitation, monitoring, and pest control practices; treatment with a surface disinfectant; lot identification; and inspection for quarantine pests by the Argentine national plant protection organization.

Additionally, these lemons will have to be harvested green and within a certain time period or treated for Mediterranean fruit fly in accordance with an approved treatment schedule. They will also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that they have been inspected and found to be free of quarantine pests and were produced in accordance with all applicable requirements.

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