A proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks to streamline the process for granting import approval to foreign fruit and vegetable commodities seeking access to the U.S. market.
The USDA said it would accept comments on the Sept. 9 proposal through Nov. 10.
The proposal said it would mean a shift to a notice-based process for approving imports while removing the region- or commodity-specific phytosanitary requirements now in place.
“The notice-based approach ... allows us to maintain our science- and risk-based evaluation process and shorten the administrative process involved in approval of new fruits and vegetables, while continuing to provide opportunity for public comment and engagement on the science- and risk-based analysis associated with such imports and interstate movements,” the proposal said.
The rule would also apply to interstate movement of fruits and vegetables from Hawaii and the U.S. territories, including Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The USDA said consumers and businesses would benefit from the more timely access to fruits and vegetables for which entry or movement would currently require rulemaking.