If approved for import, the berries would be subject to quarantine measures for Ceratitis capitata and Monilinia fructigena prior to leaving Morocco. These two pests were identified as high risk during assessments.
“The blueberries would have to be imported in commercial consignments only and would have to be treated with one of two approved postharvest treatments to mitigate the risk of C. capitata,” APHIS reported.
“The blueberries would also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the conditions for importation have been met. This action would allow the importation of blueberries from Morocco while continuing to protect against the introduction of plant pests into the United States.”
Morocco expects to export an estimated 360,000 pound of fresh blueberries to the U.S. annually. According to APHIS, this represents just one tenth of 1% of the U.S. fresh blueberry supply.
Due to the low volume, Morocco is not expected to create notable competition for the local supply. The African nation would export to the U.S. in July and August, overlapping with the final part of the U.S. season.
The public commenting period ends March 3, 2014.Fresh Fruit Portal