U.S. lifts restrictions on Moroccan citrus imports
The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) rescinded the Federal Order issued on Jan. 29 prohibiting imports of all tangerines, clementines, mandarins, and sweet oranges.
This action was taken in response to the presence of live Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) larvae on cold-treated clementines that had arrived in Philadelphia.
"APHIS and the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of Morocco have worked diligently to investigate the probable issues that resulted in this interception," the organization said.
"Both agencies established and agreed on several measures to mitigate pest risk and prevent future interceptions. A detailed work plan was developed specifying operational details and was signed by APHIS and the NPPO of Morocco in June, 2016.
"The work plan includes a requirement for all citrus consignments to be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate with an additional declaration that the consignment was produced and prepared for export in accordance with the citrus operational work plan agreement between APHIS and the NPPO."
APHIS said officials visited Moroccan production areas in September and confirmed the requirements listed in the operational work plan were being met.
"APHIS determined that the new measures specified in the bilateral operational work plan and the required cold treatment effectively mitigate pest risk and the Federal Order can safely be removed," it said.