The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to update its regulations to allow Hass avocados from Colombia to be imported into the continental U.S. To be eligible for import, the avocados would need to be produced under a systems approach and be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate to ensure they can be safely imported while still protecting U.S. plant health.
At the request of the Colombian government, APHIS prepared a pest risk assessment and risk management document. This work identified four pests that are of high or medium concern, if left unmitigated. These concerns will be addressed by the systems approach, which includes requirements that:
- Imports must be through commercial shipments
- Production locations and packing houses must be registered, pest-free, and follow specific sanitation, monitoring and pest control practices the details of which are to be contained in an operational workplan.
- Shipments must be inspected by Colombian plant health officials for quarantine pests.
All shipments must have a phytosanitary certificate with an Additional Declaration stating they were produced under these conditions.
APHIS will accept public comments for 60 days, starting on October 27, 2016 through December 27. You may submit comments online at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0022 or by mail at: Docket No. APHIS-2016-0022, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
The pest risk assessment and risk management documents are also available for review at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0022