Peppers from Panama earned the OK from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and will soon be eligible to be imported to the U.S.
The final rule allowing the imports from Panama published Aug. 23 in the Federal Register, stating that the peppers would be allowed into the U.S. effective Sept. 22. Specific varieties included are: bell, cayenne, cherry, chili, garden, Hungarian, Italian sweet, mango, paprika, pimento, red, sweet red, tabasco, bird, rocoto, apple chile, yellow lantern and bonnet.
The imports will be subject to inspections in Panama, where growing, packing and shipping facilities will all be checked for pests to avoid introduction into the U.S.
APHIS anticipates a limited effect on U.S. pepper producers.
“The maximum annual quantity exported by Panama to all countries in the most recent years” was 29 metric tons, the notice stated. Even if 10 times that amount were exported, the “largest assumed level of U.S. imports is less than 0.02% of average annual U.S. consumption,” according to the notice.