The U.S. government is poised to allow imports of fresh apricots, sweet cherries and plumcots from South Africa, pending a public comment period that runs through Aug. 11.
In a June 1 notice in the Federal Register: http://tinyurl.com/S-Africa-imports, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service stated its pest risk analysis of the South African fruits determined they will not pose a threat to U.S. crops, provided they are treated with one or more phytosanitary measures.
Apricots and plumcots would be required to undergo cold treatment for fruit flies and false codling moths. Apricots and plumcots would also be required to have a phytosanitary statement indicating they are free of cinch bugs. Sweet cherries would have to be cold treated for Mediterranean fruit flies.
The imported fruit would have to carry inspection certificates from the South African national plant protection organization. It would also be subject to inspection by U.S. officials upon arrival.
Submit comments online at: http://tinyurl.com/APHIS-S-Africa-fruit. Submit comments via mail at: Docket No. APHIS–2011–0039, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. Be sure to include the APHIS docket number 2011-0039 within the text of the comments.