Effective December 17, 2021, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is removing the light brown apple moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana, quarantine in California and Hawaii. APHIS is reclassifying LBAM as a non-quarantine pest, removing all areas under quarantine, and removing movement restrictions on LBAM host material.
When APHIS first confirmed detections of LBAM in the United States in 2007, the best science available indicated that this moth would be a pest of economic significance. In response, APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) developed an eradication program. Over time, however, it became clear that the moth’s impact was not as significant as expected. LBAM does not cause as much crop damage as APHIS initially anticipated.
APHIS began to exempt many LBAM host plants, such as apple, strawberry, cucumber, and citrus, from the quarantine and regulations as more information became available on the pest’s impact on these crops. Subsequently, APHIS exempted more than 100 agricultural and horticultural hosts. In addition, standard pest management practices implemented by producers for other routine pests have proven to also be effective against LBAM. Based on these facts, and years of surveys by APHIS and CDFA, APHIS has determined that LBAM is no longer a pest of regulatory significance.
In addition, APHIS is revising import requirements for certain fruits imported from Australia and New Zealand by removing the requirement for a phytosanitary certificate containing an additional declaration that states the shipment is free of LBAM. Changes in the import requirements will be authorized upon publication of a final notice in the Federal Register. APHIS is changing the import requirements to comply with international standards under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The IPPC’s International Standards for Phytosanitary Management 20, “Guidelines for a phytosanitary import regulatory system,” does not allow for countries to regulate imports for a specific pest more than it regulates it domestically.
For additional information on the LBAM program, please contact National Policy Manager, Allen Proxmire, at (301) 851-2307.
Dr. Osama El-Lissy
Plant Protection and Quarantine
Attachment: Federal Order
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