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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
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USDA Amends Import Restrictions and Requirements to Prevent the Introduction of Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is taking further action to prevent the introduction of tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) into the United States.  Effective immediately. We are also amending the import requirements for tomato and pepper fruit for consumption from multiple countries. These actions are in addition to the restrictions that are already in place.

ToBRFV can cause severe fruit loss in tomatoes and peppers. It is easily spread through the use of contaminated tools, hands, and plant-to-plant contact. It was first reported in tomatoes in Israel in 2014. Since then, it has been reported in China, Mexico, Germany (eradicated), Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom, Jordan, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, France, Spain, and the Netherlands.

In November 2019, APHIS issued a Federal Order imposing restrictions on imports of tomato and pepper seed lots and transplants from all countries and tomato and pepper fruit from Mexico, Israel, and the Netherlands. The Federal Order also required Canada to inspect tomato and pepper fruit to ensure it is free of disease symptoms prior to export to the United States because Canada imports fruit from Mexico that could be re-exported to this country.

The latest Federal Order adds restrictions for tomato and pepper fruit from the Dominican Republic, France, and Spain. It also amends the import requirements for tomato and pepper fruit for consumption from multiple countries. Specifically, the Federal Order states that:

  • All imported tomato and pepper plants for planting must be from countries certified free of the disease or the plants must be tested and certified free of the disease.
  • All tomato and pepper fruit imported from the Dominican Republic, France, Spain, Israel, Mexico, Canada, and the Netherlands must be inspected at the point of origin and certified as free of symptoms of ToBRFV.
  • Only commercial consignments of tomato and pepper fruit from all countries authorized to ship to the United States are allowed.

These actions will continue to safeguard the United States against the introduction of this virus while facilitating the safe trade of healthy tomatoes.

For more information, please visit the APHIS website.

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