USDA lifts some Hass avocado shipping restrictions
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has published a final rule to eliminate the Anastrepha spp. fruit fly trapping requirements for Hass avocados imported from Mexico, effective July 30.
This rule also allows, under certain conditions, the interstate movement of Hass avocados from areas in the United States that are quarantined for Mexican and sapote fruit flies, the agency said.
The USDA based its decision for the rulemaking on recent research that found unharvested Hass avocados are not a natural host to various species in the Anastrepha genus, which include Mexican and sapote fruit flies. The agency said it's removing the current trapping and bait spray requirements for Hass avocados from Mexico, since the restrictions are no longer necessary to safely import these products into the United States.
However, the USDA will maintain various post-harvest requirements. The avocados must be harvested and protected from fruit fly infestations during movement from the orchard to the packinghouse. The avocados must also be accompanied by a field record indicating the location of the orchard where the fruit originated.
'This action harmonizes the domestic and foreign requirements for the movement of Hass avocados and relieves unnecessary restrictions for avocado producers,' the USDA said. 'In addition, it provides an alternative for Hass avocados to be move interstate if they originate in a Mexican fruit fly or sapote fruit fly quarantined area of the United States.'