US yet to finalise CBS citrus import rule

CGA CEO, Justin Chadwick.

The final rule allowing entry of citrus imports from citrus black spot (CBS) regions in South Africa into the US will become effective in September this year according to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff).

“Publication of the final rule will be widely appreciated by those in the industry who have been (im)patiently waiting for the final rule to be published,” said Citrus Growers’ Association CEO, Justin Chadwick.

Last Friday, Daff notified the citrus industry that the information published in the US Federal Registry regarding citrus imports from SA was only an agenda indicating which rules were in the final stages of rulemaking.

Chadwick said that all industry players understood the importance of taking advantage of the opportunity that this decision presented in a responsible manner, once it came into play. He said that there were many examples which showed how access could be short-lived if attention was not given to market conditions and requirements.

Once the rule has been implemented, the US will no longer limit its import sources to the Northern and Western Cape.

“The industry will build on the example shown by growers in the Western and Northern Cape who have nurtured this market, built strong relationships through disciplined marketing, and paid attention to ensuring quality, phytosanitary, sanitary and market needs are met,” added Chadwick.

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