The first-ever shipment of fresh citrus from Uruguay to the U.S. has arrived.

Business leaders and government officials greeted the arrival of valencias at South Philadelphia’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal Nov. 18, according to a news release from Gloucester City, N.J.-based Holt Logistics Corp.

In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published a final rule allowing the importation of Uruguayan citrus. The effective date for the rule was Aug. 9.

Welcoming the first shipment Nov. 18 were officials from the Uruguayan Embassy to the U.S., the City of Philadelphia and USDA; and executives from Holt Logistics, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, UPEFRUY (Uruguayan Growers and Exporters Union) and other importers.

Leo Holt, president of Holt Logistics, said in the release he was proud Uruguayan shippers chose Philadelphia as the destination for their first citrus shipments.

“Our strategic location, with extensive transportation infrastructure and access to over 100 million people within a day’s drive, makes our port ideal for any exporter looking to tap into the U.S. market,” Holt said. “We are eager to expand this exciting new pipeline of goods into the U.S.”

Uruguayan exporters and U.S. importers lobbied officials for nearly two decades to allow Uruguayan citrus into the U.S.