Rabat - The United States has lifted its suspension of citrus imports from Morocco that began last January following the discovery of the fruit fly larvae in a consignment of clementine.
Rabat – The United States has lifted its suspension of citrus imports from Morocco that began last January following the discovery of the fruit fly larvae in a consignment of clementine.
After almost ten months of a suspension on citrus imports from Morocco by the United States due to a clementine cargo infested with fruit fly larvae, the export of citrus to the US resumed on October 13.
The discovery of fruit fly larvae, dubbed the Mediterranean fruit fly, led to an outright suspension of the citrus imports, as this fly species is considered one of the most destructive pests in the world.
Last January, the Moroccan Health Security Office of Foodstuffs (ONSSA) began a series of meetings with citrus professionals and a series of procedures to address the concerns of US Phytosanitary Authorities (APHIS).
The efforts of ONSSA resulted in the establishment of a program, in cooperation with APHIS, consisting of operational action to manage the fly.
The program, to which all citrus professionals “Maroc Citrus” adhered, was signed last June and included additional phytosanitary measures to eliminate the presence of the fly in the exported citrus.
According to the French-speaking news source Le360, US authorities carried out a number of audits within Moroccan production sites.
The positive audit results encouraged the US authorities to lift the suspension off the citrus import, which is expected to be effective this week.