( Courtesy Summer Citrus from South Africa )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments on a proposal to allow South African citrus imports at all U.S. ports, without the current cold treatment requirement now in place.

South African citrus are allowed at just four U.S. ports now, in Newark, N.J., Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., and Houston, and must undergo a cold treatment period of about three weeks, to guard against introducing the false codling moth to the country.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing the measure after monitoring imports over the past two seasons for false codling moths according to a news release. More than 2,000 shipments were monitored, with no detections of a live moth.

The APHIS proposal on the commodity import evaluation document for South African citrus affects imports of grapefruits, lemons, mandarin oranges, sweet oranges, tangelos and satsuma mandarins, according to the release.

Comments will be accepted through the Federal Register through June 1.

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