The staff of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at the United States Embassy in Bogota, in conjunction with our colleagues at the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Bogota office, represent the interests of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Colombia.
Growing agricultural trade between the United States and Colombia has created a vital role for APHIS ensuring that new trade opportunities are realized and that existing trade between the two economies flows smoothly. The APHIS Bogota office maintains technical working relationships with our Colombian counterparts to resolve Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues whenever they arise. This relationship contributes to maintaining the success of agricultural trade-related commercial activities between the two economies, helping ensure they thrive.
In addition, our office maintains direct contact with industry trade groups, importers and exporters in order to assist and facilitate resolution of trade-related issues as they occur at Colombian ports of entry.
Finally, as a principle role of APHIS is to make sure the United States and our trading partners adhere to the SPS rules set forth by the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as the other relevant international standards-setting organizations, APHIS' role will continue to increase as the United States and Colombia continue to expand their current trade relationships and establish new partnerships into the foreseeable future.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multifaceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues.
Marc C. Gilkey, Regional Manager
Countries of Responsibility: Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela
Nov. 7, 2017 - On September 30, the first shipment of around 70 boxes of fresh pitahaya (dragon fruit) from Ecuador arrived in Miami. On July 20, 2017, Ecuador was approved to export pitahaya to the United States under a systems approach. Currently, Ecuador has over 1,634 hectares in the coastal, highlands and rain forest regions of Ecuador and 254 producers and exporters registered. Ecuador expects to export over 2,000 MT with an estimated value of $5 million within a year. Ecuador currently exports pitahaya to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Europe.
Aug. 22, 2017 - On August 14, USDA published the final rule for the importation of Hass avocados from Colombia. The rule requires that imported Hass avocados be produced in accordance with a systems approach that includes orchard and packinghouse requirements and port of entry inspection. The rule also requires fruit to be imported in commercial consignments and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. On August 13, Vice President Pence announced the publication of the rule in a joint press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. The rule will take effect on September 15, 2017. On August 16, ICA signed the Operational Work Plan, which is now with APHIS awaiting signature.