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APHIS Amends Import Requirements for Fresh Fig (Ficus carica) Fruit from Mexico

FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION
DA-2020-19
September 15, 2020

To:  State and Territory Agricultural Regulatory Officials

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is implementing restrictions on all commercial consignments of fresh fig fruits (Ficus carica) imported into the United States from Mexico to prevent the introduction of Mediterranean black fig fly (MBFF) (Silba adipata McAlpine) into the United States.

APHIS is amending import requirements to require fresh fig fruit consignments from areas where MBFF is present in Mexico to be treated with 400 gy irradiation as a pest risk mitigation measure. Fresh fig production areas in Mexico where MBFF is not present will continue to be treated with 150 gy irradiation to mitigate for fruit flies (Anastrepha spp., Tephritidae), but will now require aPhytosanitary Certificate (PC) with an additional declaration (AD) stating the fruit was produced in an area free of MBFF. For fresh fig fruit currently produced in the Fruit Fly Free Area (Anastrepha spp., Tephritidae) in Mexico, consignments must include a PC issued by Mexico’s national plant protection organization with an AD that the consignment was produced in an area free of MBFF.

APHIS is taking this action in response to detections of MBFF in figs from the state of Morelos, Mexico. Under this Federal Order, fresh fig fruit from areas where MBFF is present must be treated using 400 gy irradiation, which is an APHIS approved treatment for all insects except adults and pupae of Lepidoptera.

Currently, fresh fig fruit from Mexico are enterable in commercial consignments into the United States with irradiation at 150 gy for Tephritidae fruit flies, or with a PC with an AD that they came from a pest free area for fruit flies.;Due to the pest risk, APHIS has determined that these additional import requirements are immediately necessary to prevent the introduction of MBFF into the United States through the pathway of fresh fig fruit.Fresh fig fruit brought in by passengers and in non-commercial consignments is prohibited.

For additional information regarding this Federal Order, please contact Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist Marc Phillips at 301-851-2114, or Marc.Phillips@usda.gov.

/s/
Osama El Lissy
Deputy Administrator
Plant Protection and Quarantine


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