U.S.: APHIS proposes to allow additional Korean orange imports
The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to remove its prohibition on the import of two Unshu orange hybrids from South Korea, provided certain conditions are met.
Under existing regulations, only one species of Unshu orange (known as Citrus reticulata) is eligible for import into the U.S. from the Asian country, but the new proposal would add two Unshu sweet and mandarin orange hybrids to the list.
The two new hybrids would also have to meet the import conditions of the Unshu orange that is currently eligible, such as surface treatment of the fruit prior to packing.
Other conditions state the packinghouse where the treatment is applied must be registered, the fruit must be packed with the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of South Korea, and the fruit must be certified as having been treated in accordance with the regulations.
APHIS is also proposing to add an 'explicit statement' to these conditions that only commercial consignments of Unshu oranges are eligible for importation, as it says produce grown commercially is less likely to have pests than noncommercial consignments.
The variety of Unshu orange that is currently eligible for import to the U.S. received permission from APHIS in October 2010, and the request to allow the further two hybrids that are currently being considered was made by the NPPO in 2011.
APHIS is welcoming comments on the proposal until Sept. 29.
To view the full proposal or to make a comment, click here.
Photo: Tsukuba-Jin, via Flickr Creative Commons