USDA authorizes Moroccan raspberry imports

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USDA authorizes Moroccan raspberry imports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced its decision to authorize the importation of fresh raspberries from Morocco.

APHIS published a proposed rule in August 2016 to allow raspberry imports from the North African country. It paired the rule with a pest risk analysis (PRA) and a risk management document.

Afterward, the USDA reviewed the comments it received during the 60-day comment period, and etermined that the phytosanitary measures outlined in the proposed rule and PRA would minimize the risk of introducing plant pests into the U.S.

Publishing the final notice is one of several last steps that must be completed before Morocco may begin shipping the fruit to the U.S., the department explained.

APHIS and its Moroccan counterparts will also need to finalize and implement the operational conditions Morocco must meet for every U.S.-bound raspberry shipment.

The service published the proposed rule to allow the imports prior to a final rule effective October 15, 2018. This new rule has changed the import approval process.

Previously, APHIS required proposed and final rules before it would grant a new commodity access to the U.S. market.

Under the new system, however, APHIS must make a PRA and risk management document detailing pest mitigation measures; it then needs to make this available for public comment in the Federal Register.

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