USDA proposes changes to rules for Hawaiian produce to U.S. mainland
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed a “risk-based process” for approving the interstate movement of certain fruits and vegetables from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland.
The agency also proposed to acknowledge pest-free areas in Hawaii and the territories using a notice-based process.
Under the proposal, the fruits and vegetables from Hawaii would be subject to one or more phytosanitary measures:
' Inspection at first state of arrival.
' Approved treatment.
' Origination from a pest-free area.
' Inspection and certification in the state or territory of origin showing that the commodity is pest-free.
' Limited distribution of the commodity to certain states.
' Determine that the risk associated with the commodity can be mitigated through commercial practices.
“The proposed changes would not alter which fruits and vegetables are currently eligible for interstate movement of how the risks associated with those commodities would be evaluated or mitigated,” APHIS said. “The proposed changes would only make more timely the approval of fruits and vegetables that are safe for interstate movement in the United States.”
Other regulatory changes proposed by APHIS include:
' Establishing a “notice based” process for acknowledging changes in the status of pest-free areas.
' Reorganizing the regulations to consolidate and eliminate redundant requirements.
' Making various non-substantive changes to the regulations to make them easier to use.
“If approved, these changes would make APHIS’ domestic interstate movement regulations more consistent with its fruit and vegetable import regulations, also known as Quarantine 56,” the agency said.