The U.S. Department of Agriculture has opened the door for baby kiwifruit from Chile and is considering proposals allowing mangoes from Australia and lychee and longan fruit from Vietnam.
Under the plan to allow imports of Chilean baby kiwifruit, which offers an alternative to earlier-approved methyl bromide treatment, the fruit must be grown in a region with a low prevalence of pests, and fruit must be inspected before and after packing. The regulation takes effect Nov. 25.
According to the USDA, imports of fresh baby kiwifruit will have a minimal effect on U.S. producers because of difference in season and the small quantity expected to be imported.
The USDA’s proposal to allow imports of lychee and longan from Vietnam into the Continental U.S., mandates irradiation and other measures to control pests.
The fruit would be banned in Florida. Comments will be accepted on the proposal through Dec. 27.
The USDA said U.S. annual production volumes in 2008 were roughly 535 metric tons for lychee and 776 metric tons for longan. Vietnam expects to export about 600 metric tons of lychee and 1,200 metric tons of longan to the U.S. each year. That import volume accounts for about 18% of current lychee imports and more than double longan imports.
The USDA also published a proposal to allow Australia mangoes into the U.S.; the comment period ends Dec. 27. Under the plan, Australian mangoes would be irradiated before entering the U.S.
The USDA said Australia is projected to ship about 1,200 metric tons of mangoes to the U.S. annually during their mid-September to mid-April season, or about 0.5% of U.S. mango imports.