The federal government has drafted a pest risk assessment for the importation of fresh Tahiti limes (Citrus latifolia) for consumption from Brazil into the continental United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) assessment describes potential pests associated with the commodity.
APHIS shares draft pest risk assessments to determine whether stakeholders have information that might lead APHIS to revise the draft assessment before it identifies pest mitigations and proceeds with the commodity import approval process.
The draft pest risk assessment for fresh Tahiti limes will be available for review and comment until Dec. 3, 2022.
According to the pest risk assessment’s executive summary, “Based on the market access submitted by Brazil, we considered the pathway to include the following processes and conditions: Fruit will be free of leaves, twigs and other plant parts, except for stems that are less than 1 inch long and attached to the fruit. The pest risk ratings depend upon the application of all conditions of the pathway as described. Fruit produced under different conditions were not evaluated and may have a different pest risk.”
Using scientific literature, port-of-entry pest interception data and information from the government of Brazil, APHIS developed a list of pests with quarantine significance for the continental United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands associated with Tahiti lime (in any country) and present in Brazil (on any host). Pathogens on the list are Elsinoë australis (sweet orange scab), Guignardia citricarpa (citrus black spot) and Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (citrus canker).
USDA APHIS conducted pest risk assessments examining the likelihood that these pathogens could spread through the movement of commercial citrus fruit intended for consumption. USDA APHIS has determined that commercially-packed fruit is not an epidemiologically significant pathway for the introduction and establishment of these pathogens into new areas. These pathogens are regulated, and additional import requirements will be specified in the risk management document as a condition of entry for citrus fruit from Brazil.
Source: USDA APHIS
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