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WASHINGTON, August 21, 2014—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing a proposal to allow the importation of commercial consignments of five species of citrus fruit from China into the continental United States—Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck cv. Guanximiyou (pomelo); Citrus kinokuni Hort. ex Tanaka (mandarin orange); Citrus poonensis Hort. ex Tanaka (ponkan); Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck (sweet orange); and, Citrus unshiu Marcov. (Satsuma mandarin).
APHIS conducted a pest risk assessment (PRA) in response to the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of China requesting imports of fresh citrus fruit into the continental United States.
Based on the PRA, APHIS identified 22 quarantine pests. Among them were eight species of Bactrocera fruit flies that may enter the United States through the importation of packed citrus fruit from China. As a condition of entry, the citrus fruit would have to be produced using a systems approach that is based on the quarantine pests identified in the PRA and the risk management document that provided the risk mitigation measures.
Under a systems approach, APHIS would require that the NPPO of China submit a work plan, approved by the agency, detailing the activities that they will follow to meet the requirements defined in the systems approach. APHIS would also require places of production to treat fruit and trap for several species of Bactrocera fruit flies. In addition, shipments would need to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of China that declares that the requirements of the proposed regulations have been met, and shipments have been inspected and found free of quarantine pests.
This action is necessary as part of a mutual trade agreement with China, and will provide market access in the United States for citrus fruits from China under conditions that will prevent the introduction of plant pests and diseases.
APHIS engaged producers and industry partners throughout the development of this proposed rule, and have considered their feedback for the development of the rule. APHIS will publish the proposed rule in the Federal register, and solicit public comments for 60 days.