Dominican Republic bans imports of certain fruit, veg to fight fruit fly

The Ministry of Agriculture banned imports of fruit and vegetable that host the oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) from the state of Florida and regulated imports from the state of California.

The Ministry of Agriculture took the measure in response to the emergence of several outbreaks in those states and notified the Attache of the US Embassy in the country about it via communication MA-2015-10693 dated October 14.

The oriental fruit fly is considered one the major quarantine pests in the world because of the damage it causes to more than 400 species of fruits and vegetables. It is native to Southeast Asia, but has been present in the island of Hawaii since 1945 and, according to official reports from APHIS/USDA, it was detected in Santa Clara, California on 22 June this year. Likewise, according to the official notification that the APHIS/USDA gave the Dominican Government on October 9, the pest was detected in the Miami Dade County, Florida, on August 26 this year.

Following this official notification, and considering that there have been 165 captures of oriental fruit flies in Miami Dade, including some near the Florida International Airport, the country took the decision to ban the importation of fruits and vegetables from that state that can host the Bactrocera dorsalis, such as pears, strawberries, grapes, apples, citrus, cherries, tomatoes, and peaches, among others.

The measure allows imports of pest-free areas of the State of California, which must be located more than 150 km away from the outbreak areas in the counties of Covina, Los Angeles, and Santa Clara, and, additional to the phytosanitary certificate, must have an additional statement in which the Government of the United States endorses compliance with these regulations. 

As part of preventive measures, the Plant Quarantine Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, in coordination with the Directorate General of Customs and Immigration, is carrying out thorough inspections of passengers from the states of California and Florida, in order to avoid the entry of fruits and plants hosting the pest in their luggage.


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