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APHIS Proposes Importation of Fresh Pomegranate Fruit from Turkey Into the United States under a Systems Approach

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is publishing a proposed rule that would allow the importation of fresh pomegranate fruit from Turkey into the continental United States, including Alaska. 

After completing a comprehensive pest risk analysis, APHIS has determined that pomegranates produced in Turkey can be safely imported into the continental United States under a systems approach.  The systems approach would require a number of safeguards to be applied across the fruit production continuum to effectively reduce any risk, including: registration and monitoring of production places and packinghouses; pest-free places of production; grove sanitation, monitoring, and pest control practices; fruit disinfection, chemical treatment, and cold treatment; lot identification and traceability to the place of production; and inspection for quarantine pests by the Turkish national plant protection organization.  

Additionally, pomegranates would have to be packed within 24 hours of harvest into pest-proof containers or covered for transport to the continental United States. All shipments would require a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the  pomegranates have been inspected and found to be free of quarantine pests and were produced in accordance with the proposed requirements.  

APHIS will carefully consider all comments received by the deadline and then make its decision regarding any change to the Agency’s import regulations for fresh pomegranate fruit from   Turkey into the continental United States, including Alaska. 

Comments on the proposed rule will be taken until August 21, 2017 once it is published in the Federal Register.  You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Go to!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0091 
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery:  Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2013-0091, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0091 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC.  Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.  To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Mr. Tony Román, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2242.


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