The staff of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at the United States Embassy in Mexico City, in conjunction with our colleagues at the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Mexico office, represent the interests of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Mexico. The APHIS office plays a unique role in both the protection of U.S. agriculture and in the facilitation of safe trade between both countries.
Growing agricultural trade between the United States and Mexico has created a vital role for APHIS ensuring that new trade opportunities are realized and that existing trade between the two economies flows smoothly. The APHIS Mexico City office maintains technical working relationships with our Mexican counterparts to resolve Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues whenever they arise.
In addition, our office maintains direct contact with industry trade groups. This relationship contributes to maintaining the success of agricultural trade-related commercial activities between the two economies, helping ensure that they thrive. For example, APHIS provides certification at origin of a large number of Mexican commodities exported to the U.S., seeks to expand and maintain market access for U.S. agricultural products and also intervenes directly for shipments detained at Mexican ports of entry.
A principle role of APHIS is to make sure the United States and our trading partners adhere to the SPS rules set forth by the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as the other relevant international standards-setting organizations, APHIS' role will continue to increase as the United States and Mexico continue to expand their current trade relationships and establish new partnerships into the foreseeable future.
A final but critical function of our APHIS office is to help protect U.S. agriculture from the establishment and/or spread of harmful plant pests and animal diseases where our office works in close cooperation with our Mexican plant and animal health counterparts and key industry groups in a number of areas of mutual interest and benefit. Because of a long, shared common border with similar agricultural production, climatic and environmental factors, the two countries have demonstrated a very successful history of working collaboratively since the 1940's with the eradication of Foot and Mouth Disease in livestock. More recently, both sides collaborate on fruit fly control and eradication, cotton pest eradication and in Citrus Greening disease monitoring and through the development of control strategies. On the animal side, APHIS cooperates in providing technical assistance and enhanced diagnostics of foreign animal diseases such as High Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Classical Swine Fever including the control of bovine tuberculosis and cattle fever ticks in livestock and with efforts to control rabies in wildlife.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multifaceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues.
Nicholas Gutierrez, Regional Manager
Lou Vanechanos, Regional Manager (incoming)
Countries of Responsibility: Mexico & Canada
USDA-APHIS has published a proposed amendment to the regulations concerning the importation of fruits and vegetables to allow the importation of fresh potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) from Mexico into the United States.
APHIS and CFIA reached agreement on a framework for a new export program to facilitate trade in aquatic animals. Eligible U.S. exports will be used for food service, retail sales, and further processing for human consumption. U.S. facilities that wish to ship to Canada must be registered by APHIS, operate under various standard procedures, and be inspected by an APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer at least once a year. In addition, these shipments now only need to be accompanied by a “Statement from the Exporter,” instead of an APHIS-endorsed health certificate. This new program offers an alternative shipping option, providing rapid turn-around (48 hours or less) for exporters at a time when certification is a logistical and financial burden especially when shipping multiple times a week. To date, APHIS has registered two facilities and is also working with facilities in North Carolina, Arkansas, and Texas.