U.S. authorities have lifted a ban on Peruvian pomegranate arils implemented in June, but are now requiring both Peru and India to sign and implement a new operational work plan which includes a systems approach.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said that neither country will be allowed to export pomegranate arils to the U.S. until the work plan is implemented, which effectively suspends market access for India.
This restriction does not affect the commercial importation of whole pomegranate fruit from Peru and India, which remain enterable with treatment.
On June 11 APHIS suspended imports of Peruvian pomegranate arils following two detections of Mediterranean fruit fly larvae in commercial shipments.
One month later, an Oriental fruit fly larva was detected in a consignment of pomegranate arils from India, although this detection at the time did not lead to a market access suspension.
Both detections were made at Los Angeles International Airport.
"APHIS will allow importation of pomegranate arils from Peru, in accordance with an approved systems approach described in an operational workplan between APHIS and the Peru National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO), after both parties finalize and sign [it]," it said.
"APHIS is also restricting the importation of fresh pomegranate arils from India by requiring adherence to a systems approach documented in an operational workplan between APHIS and the India NPPO.
"Until the operational workplan is implemented, fresh pomegranate arils from India are suspended."
APHIS is also requiring shipments of fresh pomegranate arils from non-restricted countries to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration issued by the NPPO in the country of origin stating that the consignment was inspected and found free of Tephritidae fruit flies.