Effective December 29, 2022, APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service) has enacted a prohibition on fresh bell peppers from Spain with the genus and species names of Capsicum annuum from being imported for consumption into the United States. APHIS’ PPQ program announced the prohibition on their website. This prohibition came about after the discovery of the presence of the Mediterranean fruit fly during customs inspections of commercial shipments of fresh bell peppers from Spain.
Reasons for Capsicum Annuum Prohibition
APHIS prohibits Capsicum annuum from being imported in order to prevent the introduction of the Mediterranean fruit fly. In addition, APHIS has also enacted a prohibition on overland in-bond transit movements of this product south of 39 degrees latitude and west of 104 degrees longitude.
This prohibition will stay effective until APHIS determines that there is no longer a risk to United States agriculture.
What about other Capsicum species?
The agency has not prohibited other species of Capsicum besides Capsicum annuum. However, APHIS is requiring a Phytosanitary Certificate for such products that lists both the genus and species names.
Phytosanitary Certificates certify that the particular plant or plant product has undergone official inspection. The inspection must have found that the plant does not contain any quarantine pests. Furthermore, the plant must be practically free from other injurious pests. This certificate also certifies that the product conforms to the phytosanitary standards of the importing country.
PPQ (Plant Protection and Quarantine) regulates importation of plants and plant products, including fruits and vegetables. The authority for PPQ comes from the Plant Protection Act. The Plant Protection and Quarantine’s main function is to ensure safe trade of agricultural products and to safeguard U.S. agriculture against the entry, establishment, and spread of economically and environmentally significant pests. The Capsicum annuum prohibition is just one example of a PPQ regulation.
For Exports, USDA/APHIS/PPQ also provides Phytosanitary Certificates for U.S. and foreign agricultural products. APHIS itself does not require certification of exports but provides the certification as a service to exporters who need it.
SGL will share updates on the Capsicum annuum prohibition as more information comes to light. In the meantime, our team of experienced logistics coordinators can handle your agricultural imports and exports with ease. Request a quote now to learn what SGL can do for you!