SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) San Juan Office of Field Operations announced today the enforcement of a federal quarantine order suspending imports of fruit and vegetable commodities identified to be hosts of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) stemming from the Dominican Republic.
On March 18, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a Federal Order (FO-2015-14) to immediately prevent the entry or introduction of Medfly, a harmful plant pest, from the Dominican Republic into the United States.
The APHIS Administrator has determined that the introduction and establishment of Medfly poses a serious threat to United States agriculture, including certain fruits or vegetables grown in the United States, and that this serious plant pest threat must be immediately addressed.
Medfly is not known to occur in the United States except in Hawaii and it is estimated that the species would be able to establish populations in southern regions of the United States.
“APHIS is also prohibiting overland in-bond transit movements of such materials south of the 39° latitude in the United States,” indicated Mirella Couto, Associate Director of Field Operations forTrade, in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “These prohibitions apply to all importation and movement including commercial and non-commercial cargo, passenger baggage, international mail, and express courier shipments.”
The following commodities from the Dominican Republic are prohibited:
- mamey (sapote)
- tuna (cactus fruit)
*Commercial shipments of mangoes from the Dominican Republic will continue to be enterable under the conditions of the APHIS hot water treatment preclearance program.
Ceratitis capitata, the Mediterranean fruit fly, or medfly for short, is a species of fruit fly capable of causing extensive damage to a wide range of fruit crops. It is native to the Mediterranean area, but has spread invasively to many parts of the world, including Australasia and North and South America.
In 1989, the state of California sustained billions of dollars in losses due to an infestation of medfly, impacting this the world’s fifth largest supplier of food and agriculture commodities.
Complete details on APHIS Federal Order 2015-14 are available via the APHIS Stakeholder Registry and http://www.aphis.usda.gov. Please also refer to the APHIS Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirement (FAVIR) Online Database for information.
Contact your local CBP port office for customs related issues. For import permits issues and quarantine order questions, contact APHIS at 301-851-2312.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.