USDA to expand fresh produce imports from Peru allowing importation of papayas, oversized mangoes, peppers and citrus

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) announced  the potential expansion of fresh produce imports from Peru including papayas, oversized mangoes, peppers, and citrus, stating in its press release:

[t]he U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)and the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) met in Washington, D.C., to recognize recent market access achievements for several longstanding issues for both the United States and Peru, including potential expansion of imports of papayas, oversized mangoes, peppers, and citrus. This success is the culmination of many years of hard work between the U.S. and Peru’s technical agencies.

USDA is publishing in the Federal Register a final rule that immediately allows the importation of fresh papaya from Peru into the United States under the same entry conditions as other countries in Central and South America. That rule will be published in the Federal Register on April 24 and will be effective May 26.

APHIS is publishing in the Federal Register a proposed notice for an updated treatment schedule for oversized mangoes that will allow immediate market access for additional mangoes following a 60-day comment period as long as no comments are received that prompt changes in APHIS’s determination. Once published on April 24, a final notice will be added to APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine Treatment Manual.

APHIS has also made significant progress with Peru to enable access to the U.S. market for peppers. APHIS is proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation of fresh peppers into the continental United States and the Territories from Peru. As a condition of entry, the fruit would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach. That proposal is also being published April 24 in the Federal Register.

Both Peruvian Minister Juan Manuel Benites Ramos and USDA Under Secretary Ed Avalos recognize that the strong relationship between the Peru and United States’ governments has been enhanced by the U.S. – Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, effective on February 1, 2009. Also, combatting trade barriers is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, of which both Peru and the United States are strong advocates, supporting market access for our respective domestic products based on sound science.

USDA continues its efforts to eliminate all remaining trade barriers to US cattle and cattle products stemming from past detections of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service continues to work with its trading partners to ensure any unnecessary requirements for US origin beef are eliminated. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) considers the United States’ to have negligible risk for BSE. This is OIE’s lowest risk category for this disease.

USDA continuously seeks opportunities for US agricultural products and producers to expand access to overseas markets and contribute to a positive US trade balance, to create jobs and to support economic growth. The past six years have represented the strongest period for American agricultural exports in the history of our country. In fiscal year 2014 American farmers and ranchers exported a record $152.5 billion of food and agricultural products to consumers worldwide.

Both the United States and Peru are supporters of the international marketplace and are always seeking opportunities for furthering our trade relationship, while protecting our domestic agriculture.

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service sent this bulletin at 04/23/2015 12:38 PM EDT

Importers of fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) must adhere to the rules and regulations enforced by both the USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the most important of which include:

  • Applying for and obtaining an APHIS permit to import fruits & vegetables (PPQ 587);
  • Ensuring that treatment instructions within the conditions of the approved permit have been followed and documented;
  • Registration of all facilities engaged in manufacturing/processing, packing, or holding of the fresh produce to be imported, except that a “farm” located in a foreign country that ships food directly to the U.S. is exempt from the registration provided the farm is not a “mixed-type” facility that packages the fresh produce or otherwise processes the food;
  • Ensuring compliance with FDA’s food labeling requirements for packaged fresh fruits and vegetables; and
  • Ensuring that product is not adulterated or contaminated, and is otherwise safe for human consumption (ex. free of salmonella, free of unauthorized pesticide residues, etc.).

For assistance with your food imports, please contact Ann Marie Gaitan, Esq. at 305.443.8900 or via e-mail to [email protected].  Mrs. Gaitan is a recognized FDA compliance attorney with has vast experience representing food importers across the globe.  As a native Spanish speaker, she has attracted many clients from Latin America seeking legal representation in their native language.