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Import Requirements for Fragrant Pears from Mainland China Amended

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is seeking input by 17 June on a pest risk analysis relative to the importation into the United States of fragrant pears from an additional area of production in mainland China. Based on the findings of the analysis, APHIS is proposing to authorise the importation of fragrant pears from this additional area of production and revise the conditions under which fragrant pears from authorised areas of production in the mainland may be imported into the United States.

Currently, fragrant pears may only be imported from mainland China if they are grown in the Korla region of Xinjiang Province. APHIS received a request from the national plant protection organisation of mainland China to allow imports of fragrant pears from an expanded production area that would include the Akesu region, as well as the Korla region, of Xinjiang Province.

APHIS discovered that its current requirements are based on a 1997 pest risk assessment for all pear species from all of mainland China, rather than limiting the assessment to fragrant pears from Xinjiang Province. In that same pest risk assessment, APHIS also misidentified the fragrant pears as belonging to the species Pyrus sp. nr. communis rather than the species Pyrus x sinkiangensis Yu. APHIS has now corrected these errors and identified two pests of quarantine significance that could follow the pathway of importation of fragrant pears from the Akesu and Korla regions into the United States: Eulecanium circumfluum Borchsenius, a soft scale, and Euzophera pyriella Yang, the pyralid moth. Based on this revised pest risk assessment, a new risk management document has been prepared to identify the phytosanitary measures that could be applied to the importation of fragrant pears from the Akesu and Korla regions.

The proposed revised requirements are as follows.

  • The fragrant pears must be grown in the Akesu or Korla region at a production site that is registered with the NPPO of mainland China.
  • Registered production sites must have in place a production site control programme approved by APHIS and the NPPO of mainland China.
  • The NPPO of mainland China is responsible for ensuring that registered production sites are subject to field sanitation and that growers are aware of quarantine pests and control measures to be taken for their control. Such measures must be described in detail in an operational workplan approved by the NPPO of mainland China and APHIS.
  • Only intact fruits may be harvested for export and the harvested fruit must be safeguarded against quarantine pests from the production site until the consignment is shipped.
  • Fragrant pears must be packed in a packinghouse registered with the NPPO of mainland China.
  • The packinghouses must have a tracking system in place that will allow for traceback of the fruit to individual production sites.
  • Registered packinghouses are prohibited from packing fragrant pears destined for other countries while packing fruit destined for the United States.
  • Packinghouse procedures must be in accordance with the operational workplan.
  • Each shipping box must be marked with the identity of the packinghouse and grower.
  • Each consignment of fragrant pears must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of mainland China attesting to place of origin (production site and region) and stating that all APHIS phytosanitary requirements have been met and that the consignment was inspected and found free of quarantine pests.
  • Fragrant pears may be imported as commercial consignments only.
  • Fragrant pears are subject to inspection at the port of entry into the United States.
  • Fragrant pears must be imported under permit.
Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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