We are proposing to amend the regulations concerning the importation of fruits and vegetables to allow the importation of fresh potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) from Mexico into the United States. As a condition of entry, the potatoes would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach employing a combination of mitigation measures to prevent the introduction and dissemination of plant pests into the United States. The potatoes would have to be imported in commercial consignments, would have to be produced by a grower who is registered in a certification program, would have to be packed in registered packinghouses, would have to be washed, cleaned, and treated with a sprout inhibitor, and would have to be inspected after packing for quarantine pests. The potatoes would also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that declares that the conditions for importation have been met. Finally, the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Mexico would have to provide a bilateral workplan to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that details the activities that the NPPO of Mexico will carry out to meet these requirements, subject to APHIS’ approval. This action would allow the importation of potatoes from Mexico while continuing to protect against the introduction of plant pests into the United States.
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