USDA updates Chilean blueberry import rules

17:04PM Nov 05, 2018
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has amended the import rules for Chilean blueberries regarding fumigation and European grapevine moths.

According to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Chile has divided the growing region VIII into two separate regions: VIII and XVI. Because the former region is known to have the European grapevine moth, APHIS added XVI to the list of regions known to have the moth.

APHIS also issued a federal order concerning ports of entry for Chilean blueberries, according to a news release. Before, U.S. ports with approved fumigation facilities were required to request receiving the blueberries from growing areas known to have the European grapevine moth. However, shipments over the past four years have been free of the pests, and also because of the large volume of these requests, blueberries can be shipped to all ports with approved fumigation facilities, according to the release.

Chilean blueberries from the four regions identified with having European grapevine moths must be fumigated with methyl bromide at U.S. ports of entry. Blueberries from other growing regions go through “an increased rate of inspection” at the point of export in Chile, according to the release.

“Due to the high (European grapevine moth) population in Chile during recent seasons and the in-country detection of the moth on fresh blueberries, APHIS has determined that these additional requirements are necessary to prevent the entry of (the moth) into the United States,” according to the release.