U.S. authorizes fresh citrus imports from China

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U.S. authorizes fresh citrus imports from China

U.S. authorities are allowing imports of five types of commercially produced fresh citrus fruit from China.

Market access was a requirement under the Phase One trade deal implemented between the two countries in February.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said that after thorough analysis, its scientists determined that pummelo, Nanfeng honey mandarin, ponkan, sweet orange, and Satsuma mandarin fruit from China can be imported under a systems approach.

In this case, the systems approach includes registration of places of production and packinghouses, certification that the fruit is free of quarantine pests, trapping program for fruit flies, periodic inspections of places of production, grove sanitation, and postharvest disinfection and treatment.

"This completes agreements on another Chinese commodity listed in Annex 11: Plant Health of the Economic and Trade Agreement between the United States of America and The People’s Republic of China, Phase One," the USDA said.

This notice of authorization will go into effect on the date of publication in the Federal Register, April 15, 2020. More information can be found here.

The comments that APHIS last year received on the proposal to allow imports of the five Chinese citrus varieties under a systems approach were overwhelmingly opposed to authorization.

James Cranney, president of the California Citrus Quality Council, said the imports have "the potential to seriously disrupt the California citrus production through the introduction of pests and diseases, and market supply."

"While China currently has limited supplies for export to the United States, we are concerned that there could be a resurgence in Chinese production once a solution is found for management of Huanglongbing (HLB)," he said.

Dale Murden, president of the Texas Citrus Mutual, said the proposal import conditions "insufficiently address key risk factors and do not provide an acceptable level of phytosanitary protection".

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