The US has authorized imports of fresh star apple fruit from Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Washington (VNA) – The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture authorized imports of fresh star apple fruit from Vietnam into the country from January 19, 2017.

Based on the findings of a pest risk analysis published in the July 19, 2016 Federal Register, the APHIS determined that if treated properly, Vietnamese star apples can be shipped safely to the continental US.

The analysis indicated that the use of one or more phytosanitary measures would be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing plant pests or noxious weeds through star apple imports.

APHIS offered a period of 60 days for public comment which ended on September 19, 2016 and it received one comment from a manufacturing company during the period.

The company said fresh star apple should be allowed to be treated with irradiation after arriving in the US.

APHIS argued that while an approved irradiation treatment may be conducted for any import either prior to shipment to the US or in the US, the particulars of any treatment are examined on an individual basis as part of a country’s market access request.

In the request by the national plant protection organisation of Vietnam (NPPO), it stipulated that fresh star apple fruit be subject to a pre-clearance programme within Vietnam. Considering this request, APHIS determined that Vietnam possesses sufficient infrastructure for in-country treatment.

The analysis also indicated that the fruit must be individually wrapped in plastic prior to shipment to reduce the risk of post-treatment re-infestation. APHIS determined that individual wrapping provides equal phytosanitary protection to insect-proofing cartons and pallets as described in US regulations.

In addition, the fresh star apple fruit from Vietnam must be imported in commercial consignments only and each consignment must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Vietnam and treated in accordance with Title 7 Part 305 of the US Code of Federal Regulations. Each consignment is also subject to inspection upon arrival to the US.

The US has to date allowed imports of five fruits from Vietnam, namely dragon fruit, rambutan, lychee, longan and star apple. It has been considering allowing imports of Vietnamese fresh mangoes.-VNA