Skip to main content

U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

APHIS Will Not Extend Stay on Import Regulations for Lemons from Northwest Argentina

This is an archive page.  The links in this content are no longer being updated.

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2017—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will not extend beyond May 26, 2017, the stay of the final regulation regarding the importation of commercial consignments of fresh lemons from northwest Argentina into the continental United States (Importation of Lemons From Northwest Argentina, 81 Fed. Reg. 94217 (Dec. 23, 2016) Docket No. APHIS-2014-0092). The final rule will go into effect when the stay expires on May 26, 2017.

On December 23, 2016, APHIS published a final rule amending the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation of lemons from northwest Argentina into the continental United States under conditions designed to safeguard American agricultural production. The final rule can be viewed here.  The final rule became effective on January 23, 2017, but was stayed on January 25, 2017, for 60 days, and again on March 17, 2017, for an additional 60 days. 

USDA will work with Argentina’s National Food Safety and Quality Service (SENASA) to finalize the operational work plan described in the final regulation. For 2017 and 2018, Argentine lemons would be imported only into the northeastern United States.

Under the final rule, numerous requirements must first be met before the lemons can enter the United States. The requirements are in keeping with sound science, and with the conditions we would expect all trading partners to apply to U.S. exports.  As authorized by the Plant Protection Act, USDA will not permit entry of lemons from northwest Argentina until all requirements are met.


USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Complementary Content