Mexican figs: APHIS bolsters import rules - FreshFruitPortal.com

APHIS implements new restrictions on Mexican fresh fig imports

U.S. authorities are implementing restrictions on all imports of fresh fig fruits (Ficus carica) from Mexico to prevent the introduction of Mediterranean black fig fly (MBFF), effective immediately.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending import requirements to require fresh fig fruit consignments from areas where MBFF is present in Mexico to be treated with 400 gy irradiation as a pest risk mitigation measure.

Fresh fig production areas in Mexico where MBFF is not present will continue to be treated with 150 gy irradiation to mitigate for fruit flies (Anastrepha spp., Tephritidae), but will now require a  Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) with an additional declaration (AD) stating the fruit was produced in an area free of MBFF.  

For fresh fig fruit currently produced in the Fruit Fly Free Area in Mexico, consignments must include a PC issued by Mexico’s national plant protection organization with an AD that the consignment was produced in an area free of MBFF.

APHIS is taking this action in response to detections of MBFF in figs from the state of Morelos, Mexico. Under this Federal Order, fresh fig fruit from areas where MBFF is present must be treated using 400 gy irradiation, which is an APHIS approved treatment for all insects except adults and pupae of Lepidoptera.

Currently, fresh fig fruit from Mexico are enterable in commercial consignments into the U.S. with irradiation at 150 gy for Tephritidae fruit flies, or with a PC with an AD that they came from a pest free area for fruit flies.

Fresh fig fruit brought in by passengers and in non-commercial consignments is prohibited.