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Fruit and Vegetable Import Approval Process Revised

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule that effective 15 October will amend its regulations to provide for the approval of all new fruits and vegetables for importation into the United States using a notice-based process. This rule will also remove the region- or commodity-specific phytosanitary requirements currently found in the  regulations. APHIS is making an equivalent regulatory revision concerning the interstate movement of fruits and vegetables from Hawaii and the U.S. territories (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and removing commodity-specific phytosanitary requirements from those regulations.

APHIS states that this rule will allow for the approval of requests to authorise the importation or interstate movement of new fruits and vegetables in a manner that enables a more flexible and responsive regulatory approach to evolving pest situations in both the United States and exporting countries. The rule will not, however, alter the science-based process in which the risk associated with importation or interstate movement of a given fruit or vegetable is evaluated or the manner in which such risks are mitigated.

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