This decision follows an audit mission conducted between October 16 and 20 in the city of Berkane by experts from the United States Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), affiliated to the Department of Agriculture (USDA), said ONSSA in a statement.
The lift of the ban is due to “the satisfaction of the American technical services” and phytosanitary requirements through the reinforced operational action plan, developed in consultation between ONSSA professionals.
This ban came after Mediterranean fruit flies, also called the ceratite, was found in two shipments of clementine from Berkane, during the previous export season (2016/2017).
Though the ONSSA explained the insect, which spread across Mediterranean basin, does not represent any risk to the health of consumers, the US considers the fly a threat to citrus plantations and required an operational monitoring action plan.
ONSSA said that Berkane’s clementine is highly consumed in Morocco, the USA, and other countries.
From October 26 to December 7, exports have reached 13,585 tons to Russia, 10,600 tons to Europe, 3,443 tons to Canada, and 312 tons to other destinations, totaling 27,930 tons.
During the previous 2016-2017 season, these exports reached 24,800 tons, marking an increase of 12 percent during this season (2017-2018).