Washington, D.C., September 13, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its regulations to allow the importation of orchid plants of the genera Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium in growing media from the Republic of Korea into the United States. After analyzing the potential plant pest risks, APHIS scientists determined that these Korean orchids can safely be imported into the United States under a comprehensive systems approach.
The systems approach is a series of overlapping measures taken by growers, packers, and shippers that, in combination, minimize pest risks prior to importation into the United States. In this case, the systems approach requires the use of specific types of growing media, a written agreement between APHIS and the national plant protection organization of the Republic of Korea (NPPO), as well as the NPPO and the grower detailing growing conditions, and specifications for sources of the seeds or parent plants used to produce the orchids. In addition, the plants must be inspected in the greenhouse and found free of plant pests and diseases no more than 30 days before they are exported to the United States. Each shipment must also be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate verifying these conditions have been met.
In August 2016, APHIS published a proposed rule to amend its regulations to allow the importation of orchid plants of the genera Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium in growing media from the Republic of Korea into the United States provided that the plants are produced in accordance with a systems approach. The final rule will publish in the Federal Register on September 14, 2017, and will become effective 30 days after publication, or on October 16, 2017.