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United States to reopen its doors to Spanish peppers

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment has received an official communication from the United States Department of Agriculture authorizing the importation of Spanish peppers. The authorization was also published by the US Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS-USDA) on its website.

The publication of the standard ended an intense negotiation between both administrations, which began in December 2015, after pepper exports were interrupted for phytosanitary reasons.

Immediately after the market was closed, technicians of the Ministry of Agriculture and of the Regional Government of Andalusia visited the greenhouses affected and proceeded to review their compliance with the required conditions and the export protocol, in collaboration with the sector's producers and exporters, to gather all the information required by the inspection service of US.

The exchange of technical information between the Ministry and APHIS culminated in mid-November this year with a visit of a delegation of technicians from the APHIS, in which, according to the APHIS itself, they saw that Spain's controls and plans for certification were sturdy and serious.

The Ministry's CEXVEG (Foreign Trade Plant) software application for managing imports and exports was particularly valued by the US Inspection Service as a key element of control and management that allows them to have confidence in Spain's control and plant certification system.

The existing trust between both administrations, and the results achieved in this and other visits by the US supervisory authorities, proves that the Spanish management and certification of exports systems are very serious. It also demonstrates the country's troubleshooting capacity to continue complying with phytosanitary requirements.

The Ministry's prior organization of the export campaign, with the effort and collaboration of the Autonomous Community and of the sector, has made it possible for the country to start exporting immediately after having received the authorization to do so. The authorized export period goes from December 1 to April 30, a period that comprises the months of December and part of January, which are key to the export sector.

The importance of Spanish pepper exports in the United States is qualitative, as it is a stable, demanding, and strategic market to which the country exports an average of nearly 3,000 tons of peppers.

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