USDA APHIS is seeking comments on a proposed rule to amend the import requirements on fresh lemon fruit from Chile into the continental United States. The proposed rule will be available for review and the comment period will be reopened for 30 days ending September 26, 2016.
Certain citrus fruit from Chile, including fresh lemons, is currently allowed into the continental United States provided shipments undergo a methyl bromide treatment to mitigate against infestation by the false red mite, a pest of concern to the United States. The proposed rule amends the importation requirements for fresh lemon fruit from Chile to allow commercial consignments into the continental United States subject to a systems approach. A systems approach is a series of overlapping safeguarding measures, including steps taken in growing areas, packing houses, export locations, and at the port of entry, that effectively minimize the risk of a plant pest, or pests, traveling from one country to another.
The systems approach required of commercial consignments of fresh lemon fruit from Chile includes: The production site where the fruit is grown is required to be registered annually with the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Chile and certified as a low pest prevalence production site; shipments are subject to post-harvest processing and phytosanitary inspection in Chile at an APHIS-approved inspection site; any shipment that does not pass the initial inspection may still be imported if fumigated with methyl bromide in Chile or at the post of first entry into the United States; and, all consignments must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the NPPO of Chile containing an additional declaration that the fruit was produced according to the import requirements.
APHIS has determined that these mitigation measures will sufficiently protect the continental United States from the infestation of the false red mite. This rule will be available for comments until September 26, 2016.
After reviewing any comments we receive, we will announce our decision regarding the changes to the import requirements for fresh lemon fruit from Chile in a subsequent notice. Comments on the proposed rule can be submitted until September 26, 2016, on-line at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS 2015-0051
or by mail at:
Docket No. APHIS-2015-0051
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD
APHIS Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.