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USDA EXPANDS LIST OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ELIGIBLE - _FOR IMPORTATION

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Melissa O'Dell (301) 734-5222
Jerry Redding (202) 720-4623

FOR IMPORTATION

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2006--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced that it has expanded the list of fruits and vegetables eligible, under certain conditions, for importation into the United States.

Some of these commodities were previously enterable under a permit but were not listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) until now. This action will improve the transparency of our regulations while continuing to protect against the introduction of quarantine pests through imported fruits and vegetables.

Each of these additional fruits and vegetables, as a condition of entry, will be inspected and subject to disinfection at the port of first arrival. In addition, some of the fruits and vegetables will be required to be treated or meet other special conditions.

Examples of the fruits and vegetables listed in the CFR as eligible for importation into the United States include: grapes from Argentina, citrus from the Bahamas, leeks from Canada, tomatoes from Chile, rambutan from Mexico and mangoes from the Philippines. Some of these fruits and vegetables require a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization in the country of origin stating that the product was inspected and found free of quarantine pests. In addition, products will be inspected to ensure that the shipments are free of plant pests and diseases before entering the United States.

Notice of this final rule is scheduled to be published in the Dec. 18 Federal Register and becomes effective upon publication.

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