Irradiated litchi and longan fruit from Vietnam have been approved for shipment to the U.S., but they will not be allowed in Florida and Hawaii.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture rule in the Federal Register the tropical fruit from Vietnam will be allowed into the U.S. in early October.
The USDA first proposed access for fresh litchi and longan in 2011.
In the U.S., litchi and longan fruit are commercially grown in Florida, and to a lesser extent in Hawaii, according to the USDA. Annual production in the U.S. was 535 metric tons for litchi and 776 metric tons for longan in 2008, according to the USDA.
Vietnam litchi and longan may have a negative economic impact on U.S. longan growers, according to the USDA, and to a lesser degree litchi growers. Imported fruit from Vietnam could hurt prices of U.S. fruit sold in Asian and Hispanic markets where the demand for produce is more price-sensitive, according to the USDA.
Vietnam trade sources have estimated that the annual quantities expected to be shipped to the U.S. are about 600 metric tons of litchi and 1,200 metric tons of longan fruit, according to the USDA. That volume would be equal to about 17% and 69% of the U.S. average annual import volumes of those two commodities from 2007 to 2010, according to the USDA.