APHIS is proposing to expand the use of a notice-based process for the approval of all new fruit and vegetable imports into the United States and for the interstate movement of fruits and vegetables from Hawaii and the U.S. territories. The proposed rule would also expand the list of general phytosanitary measures, also referred to as performance standards, which could be used to approve the importation or interstate movement of fruits and vegetables.
Expanding the use of the notice-based process will allow APHIS to be more responsive to evolving pest situations in both the United States and exporting countries while decreasing the time it takes to approve fruits and vegetables that can be safely imported into the United States.
APHIS has extended the comment period for this proposed rule by 60 days. We encourage all stakeholders to submit their comments by March 10, 2015. All comments will be considered before issuing the final rule.