More Australian citrus production areas authorized for export to U.S.

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More Australian citrus production areas authorized for export to U.S.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is expanding the production areas in Australia authorized to import fresh citrus fruit into the U.S. 

The newly authorities areas must comply with different requirements from the other regions in order to export to the market.

Previously, imports of fresh citrus fruit are allowed into the U.S. from the Riverina region of New South Wales District, the Riverland region of South Australia, and the Sunraysia region in Northwest Victoria District.

APHIS is authorizing three additional areas of Australia to export citrus to the continental United States: the inland region of Queensland, the regions that compose Western Australia, and the shires of Bourke and Narromine within New South Wales District.

APHIS scientists prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA) and a commodity import evaluation document (CIED). The CIED identifies the phytosanitary measures that could be applied to ensure citrus fruit from new areas of Australia can be safely imported without increasing the risk of introducing pests.

Citrus from the expanded areas of Australia must originate from an approved production area that is free of Queensland fruit fly, Mediterranean fruit fly, and/or Lesser Queensland fruit fly, or be treated with cold treatment or other approved treatment.

An operation work plan that details the requirements under which citrus will be safely imported must be in place, and citrus fruit must be washed, brushed, surface disinfected in accordance with treatment schedules listed in the PPQ Treatment Manual, treated with fungicide at labeled rates, and waxed at packinghouses

The fruit is also subject to inspection at the port of entry into the U.S.

"Based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, APHIS determined that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will sufficiently mitigate the risks of plant pests and noxious weeds," the organization said.

The changes go into effect on August 18, 2021.

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