US to import Vietnamese fresh star apple fruit
The US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has officially allowed the import of fresh star apple fruit from Viet Nam into the US.
According to the notice, which was published recently by the US Federal Register, the decision took effect on January 19.
“Based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, which we made available to the public for review and comment through a previous notice, we have determined that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the import of fresh star apple fruit from Viet Nam,” APHIS said.
Earlier, APHIS solicited comments on the notice for 60 days, ending September 19, 2016. It received one comment till the given date, from a manufacturing company.
One measure identified in the pest risk analysis is that all consignments of fresh star apple fruit from Viet Nam imported into the US will be required to be treated with irradiation prior to arrival in the country. The commenter argued that the fruit should also be permitted to be treated after its arrival in the US.
However, APHIS rejected this proposal, saying that in its request, the national plant protection organisation (NPPO) of Viet Nam specifically stipulated that the fruit is subject to a pre-clearance programme within Viet Nam.
In considering this request, APHIS determined that Viet Nam possesses sufficient infrastructure to meet an in-country treatment requirement.
In addition, the NPPO also proposed that the fruit would be individually wrapped in plastic prior to shipment to reduce the risk of post-treatment re-infestation. This proposal was approved as APHIS determined that such individual wrapping provides equal phytosanitary protection to insect-proofing cartons and pallets.
According to the notice, Vietnamese fruit will follow to the general requirements listed on the US Code of Federal Regulations’ article 319.56-3, which are applicable on the import of all fruits and vegetables.
The fruit will also be subject to several phytosanitary measures, such as fresh star apple fruit must be imported as commercial consignments only, each consignment of fresh star apple fruit must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Viet Nam, each consignment of fresh star apple fruit must be treated in accordance with 7 CFR part 305, and each consignment of fresh star apple fruit is subject to inspection upon arrival at the port of entry to the US.
According to the Vietnamese Commercial Office in the United States, the country is considering the import of fresh mango from Viet Nam.
Star apple fruit is the fifth Vietnamese fruit being exported to the US. The other fruit are dragon fruit, rambutan, litchi and longan.