APHIS revises conditions for interstate movement of citrus
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is revising the conditions for interstate movement of citrus fruit from areas quarantined for both sweet orange scab and citrus canker, effective immediately.
The decision is to allow movement of fruit to packing houses located in contiguous states that are not quarantined for either disease.
In 2019 and 2020, APHIS conducted a pilot program to determine the efficacy of safeguards that would allow the interstate movement of citrus fruit from groves in Florida, near the Georgia state line, to a packing house in Georgia.
Florida is currently quarantined under federal regulations for SOS and CC, and Georgia is not. As for any regulated articles, the movement of fruit is subject to compliance protocols and restrictions to prevent the spread of economically harmful pests and diseases.
The pilot study concluded that sanitation measures and inspection processes successfully mitigated the risk of spreading SOS and CC on fruit originating in quarantined areas for these diseases.
As a result, APHIS is adding this option for the interstate movement of citrus fruit for packaging from areas quarantined for both SOS and CC with additional safeguarding measures.
The States involved in the movement must establish and coordinate a monitoring program, which includes periodic surveys, on-site inspections, and certification of each shipment. Entities involved in the harvest, transport, and packing of regulated fruit must operate under a signed compliance agreement.
"State agricultural authorities may prescribe additional safeguards and protocols," APHIS said.
"Movement of fruit from quarantine areas for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), citrus greening/Huanglonbing (CG/HLB), and citrus black spot (CBS) must follow requirements stipulated in (1) regulations contained in 7 CFR §301.76 for ACP/CG, (2) Federal Orders for movement conditions for CBS, (3) all applicable state laws, and (4) this Federal Order."