Washington, D.C., May 9, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with the importation of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia into the continental United States. Based on the analysis, APHIS scientists have determined the application of one or more protective measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia. We are making the pest risk analysis and risk management document outlining those measures available to the public for review and comment.
To safeguard U.S. agriculture, the importation of fresh peppers from Colombia would be subject to a series of safeguarding measures taken by growers, packers and shippers that, in combination, minimize pest risks before a commodity is imported in the continental United States. The following measures are included as conditions for importation: Places where the pepper fruit is grown must be registered with Colombian officials; production locations must use approved pest trapping measures and those locations must be monitored; places of production must be inspected prior to harvesting; peppers must be packed within 24 hours of harvest using insect-proof materials; and, inspections would be required at the port where the fruit enters the continental United States. In addition, Colombia would have to issue a phytosanitary certificate stating that the consignment was inspected and found free of quarantine pests. Colombia would also have to enter into an operational work plan with APHIS that spells out the daily procedures the country will take to implement the protective measures identified.
You may view this notice in the Federal Register and submit comments until they close on July 8, 2019 here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0025. After reviewing the comments, APHIS will announce its decision regarding the import status of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia in a final notice.