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U.S. allows untreated Panamanian peppers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has amended its regulations to allow, under certain conditions, the import of commercial pepper imports from Panama into the continental United States without treatment.

“Conditions of entry to which the peppers will be subject include trapping, pre-harvest inspection, and shipping procedures,” the agency said. “This action will allow for the importation of peppers from Panama into the United States while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of quarantine pests.”

The regulations, which become effective Sept. 22, will require Panamanian pepper production sites and shipments be inspected prior to harvest by the country’s national plant protection organization for pests

APHIS said it has audited Panama’s export program, including its inspector training, and has found it is sufficient to meet the conditions set forth in its regulations. In addition, the Panamanian pepper imports will be inspected by APHIS at the first U.S. port of entry, “providing a check on the efficacy of the inspection in Panama as well as another layer of phytosanitary protection,” the agency said.

For more details, access the Federal Register notice.