Mexico reopens zone for U.S. fresh potatoes
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has resumed issuing phytosanitary certificates for the export of U.S. fresh potatoes into Mexico’s 26-kilometer zone bordering the U.S.
According to Mark Szymanski,National Potato Council director of public relations, these phytosanitary certificates being issued are based on import requirements from a 2003 agreement.
On May 19, 2014, the entire country of Mexico opened beyond the 26-kilometer zone for U.S. fresh potatoes. On June 9 trade was suspended after Mexico potato growers in the Mexico state of Sinaloa filed a court injunction against the new shipping access. At that time APHIS stopped issuing phytosanitary certificates for export into Mexico.
In an email, Suzanne Bond, APHIS assistant director of public affairs, said that reopening of the zone is an interim measure that will be in place while legal challenges in Mexico are addressed.
Bond said that the process for addressing legal challenges could be completed in the next 9 to 10 months.