APHIS EXPANDS MEXICAN HASS AVOCADO IMPORT PROGRAM
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will amend its regulations to expand the number of states allowed to import Mexican Hass avocados and to increase the length of the shipping season.
The new shipping season will begin Nov. 1 and end April 15. In future shipping seasons, however, it will begin Oct. 15 and end on April 15. Mexican Hass avocados will also be distributed in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
The agency requires that the original boxes for Mexican Hass avocados must have stamps that lists the distribution restrictions. Once in the approved states, if any avocados are removed from their original shipping boxes and repackaged, the stickers required on the fruit must not be removed or obscured, and the new boxes must be clearly marked with the following information: the identity of the grower, packinghouse, and exporter, and the statement “Not for distribution in AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, FL, GA, HI, LA, MS, NV, NM, NC, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, WA, Puerto Rico, and all other U.S. territories.”
“Each industry in the Mexican Hass avocado import process is responsible for following USDA regulations,” the agency said. “Industry employees should be aware of these regulations and the penalties if the regulations are not followed.”