FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION
October 5, 2020
To: State and Territory Regulatory Officials
Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is revising the requirements for commercial shipments of amaranth (callaloo) Amaranthus sp from Jamaica. In addition to the current import permit, all shipments of amaranth arriving in the United States must now be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate attesting that the shipment is free of quarantine pests. Only commercial consignments will be allowed entry. Fumigation with methyl bromide will remain a treatment option if quarantine pests are detected upon arrival at the U.S. ports of entry.
APHIS has been monitoring interception rates associated with this commodity since it was removed from the preclearance program in 2013. Analysis of inspection data indicated that pest interceptions were unacceptably high for Jamaica amaranth importations. Since 2013, twenty-five percent of amaranth shipments were fumigated with methyl bromide or destroyed due to multiple quarantine pest detections.
Previously, imports of amaranth from Jamaica were commercially enterable into the United States with an import permit and inspection upon arrival at the first port of entry. Due to the pest risk, APHIS determined that the additional requirement of a phytosanitary certificate is necessary to prevent the entry of quarantine pests associated with amaranth from Jamaica. Importations of amaranth brought in by travelers as passenger baggage and in other non-commercial pathways are now prohibited.
Plant Protection and Quarantine
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 www.usda.gov.