USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will not extend the stay of the final regulation regarding the importation of fresh lemons from northwest Argentina into the continental United States. The final rule, which has received two 60 day extensions since January, will go into effect when the stay expires on May 26, 2017.
USDA will work with Argentina’s National Food Safety and Quality Service (SENASA) to finalize the operational work plan described in the final regulation. For 2017 and 2018, Argentine lemons would be imported only into the northeastern United States. Under the final rule, numerous requirements must first be met before the lemons can enter the United States. The requirements are in keeping with sound science, and with the conditions we would expect all trading partners to apply to U.S. exports. As authorized by the Plant Protection Act, USDA will not permit entry of lemons from northwest Argentina until all requirements are met.