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APHIS to talk apples with China

APHIS to talk apples with China

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is ramping up talks with China, the world’s largest producer of apples, to allow both countries to ship more of the produce item across borders, but the U.S. apple industry is happy about it, reports Pro Agriculture’s Bill Tomson this morning.

APHIS officials confirmed Monday that they are preparing to meet with officials from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), in San Francisco, in January. The conversation will likely expand on an agreement reached between APHIS and AQSIQ , in October, which reopened China to red and golden delicious apples from Washington state.

China produced about 33 million metric tons of apples in 2010 — roughly half of the world’s supply — while the United States was a distant second, producing about 4.2 million metric tons, according to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization data.  But China is a much bigger consumer of apples than exporter, according to the USDA, and the country will likely ship mostly Fuji apples to the United States, which will not add up to much — about 10,000 tons per year. The U.S., meanwhile, is the world’s largest exporter of fresh apples.

Source: politico.com

Publication date: 12/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Aphis proposes the import of Chinese fresh citrus into US

Aphis proposes the import of Chinese fresh citrus into US

Aphis is proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation into the continental United States of commercial consignments of five species of fresh citrus fruit from China.

As a condition of entry, the citrus fruit would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that includes requirements for registration of places of production and packinghouses, sourcing of pest-free propagative material, inspection for quarantine pests at set intervals by the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of China, bagging of fruit, safeguarding, post-harvest processing and sampling, and importation in commercial consignments.

Additionally, Aphis would require places of production to trap for several species of Bactrocera fruit flies, and would require the fruit to be treated for those species of fruit flies. In addition, consignments would have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of China that declares that the conditions for importation have been met and that the consignments have been inspected and found free of quarantine pests.

Finally, the NPPO of China would have to provide an operational workplan to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture that details the activities that the NPPO of China will carry out to meet these requirements. This proposed rule would allow for the importation of fresh citrus from China into the continental United States while providing protection against the introduction of plant pests.

Aphis will consider all comments that we receive on or before October 27, 2014.

Supporting documents and any comments received on this docket may be viewed by clicking here.

For more information: 
Claudia Ferguson
APHIS
Tel: +1 (301) 851-2352.

Publication date: 8/29/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Aphis proposes the import of Chinese fresh citrus into US

Aphis proposes the import of Chinese fresh citrus into US

Aphis is proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation into the continental United States of commercial consignments of five species of fresh citrus fruit from China.

As a condition of entry, the citrus fruit would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that includes requirements for registration of places of production and packinghouses, sourcing of pest-free propagative material, inspection for quarantine pests at set intervals by the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of China, bagging of fruit, safeguarding, post-harvest processing and sampling, and importation in commercial consignments.

Additionally, Aphis would require places of production to trap for several species of Bactrocera fruit flies, and would require the fruit to be treated for those species of fruit flies. In addition, consignments would have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of China that declares that the conditions for importation have been met and that the consignments have been inspected and found free of quarantine pests.

Finally, the NPPO of China would have to provide an operational workplan to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture that details the activities that the NPPO of China will carry out to meet these requirements. This proposed rule would allow for the importation of fresh citrus from China into the continental United States while providing protection against the introduction of plant pests.

Aphis will consider all comments that we receive on or before October 27, 2014.

Supporting documents and any comments received on this docket may be viewed by clicking here.

For more information: 
Claudia Ferguson
APHIS
Tel: +1 (301) 851-2352.

Publication date: 8/29/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Chinese Citrus Fruit Could be Cleared for U.S. Import: APHIS Invites Comments

China will have to jump through some hoops, but it may soon be able to sell previously barred citrus fruit in the United States, specifically fresh pomelo, mandarin orange, ponkan (tangerine), sweet orange and Satsuma mandarin fruit.

On Thursday, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published the proposed rule, which would allow the importation of fresh citrus fruit from China into the continental U.S. The agency invited public comment on the rule for 60 days, ending on Oct. 27, 2014.

Currently, APHIS rules on fruits and vegetables do not permit the import of fresh citrus from China into the U.S. out of concern about certain plant pests. APHIS has received a request from China’s national plant protection organization (NPPO) to allow importation of five citrus fruit species into the U.S.

APHIS proposes to let the Chinese fruit into the U.S. under a condition of entry that includes registration of places of production and packing houses, sourcing of pest-free propagative material, inspection for quarantine pests at set intervals by the NPPO, bagging of fruit, safeguarding post-harvest processing and sampling, and importation in commercial consignment.

Chinese fruit growers would also have to trap for several species of Bactrocera fruit flies, and the fruit would have to be treated for those species of fruit flies. Only fruit that was inspected and found free of pests could be shipped to the U.S.

A pest risk assessment conducted by APHIS identified 22 quarantine pests that could use packed citrus from China as a pathway to the U.S. The NPPO in China will have to provide an operational work plan with detailed procedures, including treatment details.

The importation notice contains no information on the actual distribution of Chinese-grown citrus fruit in the U.S. Comments on the proposed rule are being accepted here.

Food Safety News

Chinese Citrus Fruit Could be Cleared for U.S. Import: APHIS Invites Comments

China will have to jump through some hoops, but it may soon be able to sell previously barred citrus fruit in the United States, specifically fresh pomelo, mandarin orange, ponkan (tangerine), sweet orange and Satsuma mandarin fruit.

On Thursday, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published the proposed rule, which would allow the importation of fresh citrus fruit from China into the continental U.S. The agency invited public comment on the rule for 60 days, ending on Oct. 27, 2014.

Currently, APHIS rules on fruits and vegetables do not permit the import of fresh citrus from China into the U.S. out of concern about certain plant pests. APHIS has received a request from China’s national plant protection organization (NPPO) to allow importation of five citrus fruit species into the U.S.

APHIS proposes to let the Chinese fruit into the U.S. under a condition of entry that includes registration of places of production and packing houses, sourcing of pest-free propagative material, inspection for quarantine pests at set intervals by the NPPO, bagging of fruit, safeguarding post-harvest processing and sampling, and importation in commercial consignment.

Chinese fruit growers would also have to trap for several species of Bactrocera fruit flies, and the fruit would have to be treated for those species of fruit flies. Only fruit that was inspected and found free of pests could be shipped to the U.S.

A pest risk assessment conducted by APHIS identified 22 quarantine pests that could use packed citrus from China as a pathway to the U.S. The NPPO in China will have to provide an operational work plan with detailed procedures, including treatment details.

The importation notice contains no information on the actual distribution of Chinese-grown citrus fruit in the U.S. Comments on the proposed rule are being accepted here.

Food Safety News

Chinese Citrus Fruit Could be Cleared for U.S. Import: APHIS Invites Comments

China will have to jump through some hoops, but it may soon be able to sell previously barred citrus fruit in the United States, specifically fresh pomelo, mandarin orange, ponkan (tangerine), sweet orange and Satsuma mandarin fruit.

On Thursday, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published the proposed rule, which would allow the importation of fresh citrus fruit from China into the continental U.S. The agency invited public comment on the rule for 60 days, ending on Oct. 27, 2014.

Currently, APHIS rules on fruits and vegetables do not permit the import of fresh citrus from China into the U.S. out of concern about certain plant pests. APHIS has received a request from China’s national plant protection organization (NPPO) to allow importation of five citrus fruit species into the U.S.

APHIS proposes to let the Chinese fruit into the U.S. under a condition of entry that includes registration of places of production and packing houses, sourcing of pest-free propagative material, inspection for quarantine pests at set intervals by the NPPO, bagging of fruit, safeguarding post-harvest processing and sampling, and importation in commercial consignment.

Chinese fruit growers would also have to trap for several species of Bactrocera fruit flies, and the fruit would have to be treated for those species of fruit flies. Only fruit that was inspected and found free of pests could be shipped to the U.S.

A pest risk assessment conducted by APHIS identified 22 quarantine pests that could use packed citrus from China as a pathway to the U.S. The NPPO in China will have to provide an operational work plan with detailed procedures, including treatment details.

The importation notice contains no information on the actual distribution of Chinese-grown citrus fruit in the U.S. Comments on the proposed rule are being accepted here.

Food Safety News

APHIS proposing upping fees, for first time in a decade

APHIS proposing upping fees, for first time in a decade

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing proposed changes to the fees it charges to recoup the costs of conducting agricultural quarantine inspections (AQI) at U.S. ports of entry. The adjustments APHIS proposes, the first changes to AQI user fees in nearly a decade, will ensure that the AQI program will have the financial stability it needs to continue the critical work of keeping U.S. agriculture safe and productive Agriculture, our country’s largest industry and employer, accounts for more than $ 1 trillion in annual economic activity. As volumes of international trade and travel both increase, so do the risks that foreign animal and plant pests and diseases can enter and establish themselves in the United States.

AQI activities include inspections conducted by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of conveyances, cargo and passenger baggage entering the country as well as APHIS’ analytical and scientific work to track pests overseas, focus inspections at ports of entry, and develop the import regulations that protect U.S. animal and plant health from foreign pests. The fees should fully fund the actual costs of running the AQI program and be borne by those using the services. However, revenue from fees charged has been insufficient to cover all costs and compelled DHS to use appropriated funds that should be available for other important homeland security functions and initiatives.

APHIS is concurrently proposing to adjust the hourly rates charged when APHIS employees perform work associated with AQI activities on Sundays, holidays or other after-hours periods so APHIS can recover the true cost of providing the services. The overtime rates would be raised commensurate with the anticipated cost of providing AQI services through 2018. This proposed rule includes clarifying regulations so that AQI inspections performed by DHS can be billed in accordance with DHS overtime regulations. This proposed rule will also be available for a 60 day comment period. This is the first proposed change to overtime rates since 2002.

The proposed AQI fee structure ensures that no one party pays more than the costs of the services they incur. Because the proposal aligns fees with actual program costs, some fees will be lowered under the proposed structure. APHIS is proposing to lower fees for international air passengers from $ 5 to $ 4 per passenger and fees for railroad cars from $ 7.75 to $ 2 per railroad car. The current fees for these services generate more revenue than needed to cover their costs.

APHIS also proposes to raise user fees for inspections of commercial aircraft from $ 70.75 to $ 225, commercial maritime cargo vessels from $ 496 to $ 825, commercial trucks with a transponder (a sticker that contains an electronic chip that transmits information about the vehicle’s user fee payment status) from $ 105 to $ 320 a year, and commercial trucks without a Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service transponder from $ 5.25 to $ 8 per crossing. In each of these cases, current fees do not generate sufficient revenue to cover the costs of the services. APHIS is also proposing to add a $ 2 fee per sea passenger to recover costs associated with inspecting cruise vessels and passenger baggage, and to add a $ 375 fee to recover the costs of APHIS services for monitoring the application of or providing treatments to imported car go to minimize pest risks.

APHIS worked with an independent accounting firm to review the AQI fee structure and carefully considered a number of alternatives for revising the user fees. Much of the additional revenue from fees will cover the costs of ongoing CBP inspection activities that are now supported through taxpayer funds. This user fee rate update will allow us to recover the costs from those that benefit from the services associated with importing goods into the country, while minimizing impacts to U.S. employment and the economy.

This is the first major adjustment to AQI fees in nearly 10 years. Other than minor adjustments for inflation from FY 2000-FY 2010, the fee rates have not changed even though the program has hired several hundred additional inspectors and incurred other costs to meet the increasing need caused by a large increase in arriving international passenger and cargo traffic.

Having adequate revenues means that the AQI program will have the financial stability it needs to continue the critical work of keeping U.S. agriculture safe and productive. The proposal will be available for a 60-day comment period and APHIS will consider all comments as it works to finalize the changes to the fees.

Publication date: 6/18/2014


FreshPlaza.com

APHIS implementing new requirements for the importation of fresh blueberries from Chile

The Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is responsible for protecting animal health, animal welfare and plant health, has issued a notice that it is implementing new requirements for the importation of fresh blueberries from Chile into the United States, according to Miami-based Customized Brokers, a division of Crowley Maritime Corp.

Customized Brokers noted that this action is in response to multiple detections of the European Grapevine Moth, Lobesia botrana. Shipments that are already in transit to the U.S. will not require fumigation at this time, but will go through an enhanced inspection protocol at the port of entry.

Fumigation will, however, be required for shipments that are still out in the field in Chile. Fumigation for the insect will not be conducted in the U.S. because fumigation protocol is not available domestically at this time. Fumigation procedures must, therefore, occur in Chile prior to export.

According to a Michigan State University’s invasive species fact sheet, the Lobesia botrana, also commonly known as the European grape moth, European vine moth, grape berry moth and vine moth, occurs in central and southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, Japan and Thailand. However, the insect was found in Chile prior to 2010.

The current U.S. quarantine status is that the Lobesia botrana has been intercepted at U.S. ports of entry, including Port Huron & Detroit, 20 times between 1984 and 2003. In 2008 USDA-APHIS listed the insect as an exotic organism of high invasive risk to the United States.

Although the moth is best known as a pest of grapes, it is polyphagous, in that it is able to feed on various kinds of food. It has a wide host range that spans across 27 plant families. Other plant hosts of the moth include carnations, black berries, cherries, currants, lilacs, nectarines and plums.

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