South African citrus allowed into all U.S. ports if cold-treated

U.S. authorizes imports of cold-treated South African citrus into all ports of entry

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is authorizing the importation of cold-treated fresh South African citrus into all U.S. ports of entry.

After careful review of the proposal that it announced in March, APHIS scientists determined that citrus fruit from South Africa, which is cold treated in transit, can safely enter all U.S. ports of entry without increasing the risk of introducing the false coddling moth or other pests of concern.

Previously, APHIS restricted the entry of cold-treated South African citrus to four U.S. ports that have cold treatment facilities.

This restriction gave the U.S. the option of cold treating the fruit should the in-transit treatment not be completed prior to arrival.

APHIS’ decision is based on the findings of a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) that the agency made available to the public for review and comment through a previous notice.

The organization also conducted intensive inspections for false codling moth on citrus from South Africa over a two-year period at the four previously authorized ports: Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Houston, Texas.

During that time, more than 2,000 shipments of citrus were imported with no detections of live false codling moth.

This action is not expected to significantly increase the volume of citrus imports from South Africa, according to APHIS.