In a final rule published in the June 12 Federal Register, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service approved tomato imports from countries in the Economic Community of West African States.
The ruling goes into effect July 12.
To be admitted to the U.S., West African tomatoes require pest exclusion measures at the production site, fruit fly trapping and monitoring and procedures for packing.
Tomatoes must be certified by the national plant protection organization of the exporting country, with an additional declaration that the tomatoes were produced in accordance with the phytosanitary protocals.
According to a USDA analysis, if 20% of West African tomato exports come to the U.S., the average loss to small U.S. producers will be about $4 per year.