The Feb. 27 notice follows the April 2012 publication of a pest risk assessment on imports of Egyptian strawberries. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said those risks will be negated by phytosanitary measures.
“APHIS has permitted the entry of commercial strawberries from several countries in Asia, Europe, and South America with similar lists of pests of concern,” according to the USDA said.
Measures include a requirement that shipments must be in imported in commercial consignments, that strawberries be inspected for selected pests in Egypt and subject to inspection upon arrival in the U.S.
Egypt, with more than 8,800 acres of strawberries cultivated in recent years, already exports fruit to the European Union and numerous Middle Eastern countries. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization statistics show Egypt was the world’s eighth ranked exporter of strawberries in 2010, exporting $48 million in strawberries in 2010. Spain and the U.S. were the top two global exporters of strawberries in 2010, with Spain’s exports at $526 million and U.S. strawberry exports at $378 million.