We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation into the continental United States of commercial consignments of five species of fresh citrus fruit from China. As a condition of entry, the citrus fruit would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that includes requirements for registration of places of production and packinghouses, sourcing of pest-free propagative material, inspection for quarantine pests at set intervals by the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of China, bagging of fruit, safeguarding, post-harvest processing and sampling, and importation in commercial consignments. Additionally, we would require places of production to trap for several species of Bactrocera fruit flies, and would require the fruit to be treated for those species of fruit flies. In addition, consignments would have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of China that declares that the conditions for importation have been met and that the consignments have been inspected and found free of quarantine pests. Finally, the NPPO of China would have to provide an operational workplan to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture that details the activities that the NPPO of China will carry out to meet these requirements. This proposed rule would allow for the importation of fresh citrus from China into the continental United States while providing protection against the introduction of plant pests.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).