U.S Authorities Lift Provisional Export Suspension of Citrus Fruits from Berkane Region (ONSSA)
U.S authorities have decided to lift the suspension imposed on citrus fruits from the Berkane region since December 23, 2016, and therefore allowing the resumption of citrus fruit exports to the United States from this region, announced Friday the National Food Safety Authority (ONSSA).
This decision follows the audit mission conducted on October 16-20, 2017 in the Berkane region, by U.S experts from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), said the Authority in a statement.
The same source added that this result was achieved mainly due to the satisfaction of the American technical services and phytosanitary requirements through the reinforced operational action plan, developed in consultation between ONSSA professionals.
The statement recalled that this ban came after the interception of the Mediterranean fruit fly, also called the ceratite, in two shipments of clementine from Berkane, during the previous export season (2016/2017).
This insect spread in the Mediterranean basin and which does not represent any risk for the consumer, is the subject of an operational monitoring action plan, noted ONSSA, adding that in the USA, this fly is considered a threat to citrus plantations, which explains the US authorities' requirements imposed on citrus fruit imports from exporting countries.
ONSSA, which noted that Berkane's clementine is highly appreciated by consumers in Morocco, the USA and other countries around the world as evidenced by exports during this campaign which started on October 26, said that the quantities exported until December 7, 2017 reached 13,585 tons to Russia, 10,600 tons to Europe, 3.443 tons to Canada and 312 tons to other destinations, i.e. a total of 27,930 tons.
During the previous marketing year 2016/2017, these exports reached 24,800 tons, i.e. an increase of 12% during this season (2017/2018).
Regarding the previous season, the export of citrus fruit to the USA from Berkane reached more than 3,700 tons, according to the same source.