North America, Trade/Markets/Prices

NPC: Positive steps taken to reopen Mexico for U.S. fresh potatoes

The National Potato Council (NPC) in the U.S. says in its latest industry newsletter that Mexico’s National Service for Agricultural Health, Food Safety, and Agri-Quality (SENASICA) published the Phytosanitary Requirement Sheet for U.S. potato imports to the entirety of Mexico. It was published on Saturday, November 6.

NPC says while the publication of the HRF does not allow for immediate importation of U.S. potatoes to the entirety of Mexico, NPC CEO Kam Quarles told The Packer he is “cautiously optimistic” about progress this decades-old effort to open the Mexican market for U.S. fresh potatoes.

“Seeing some forward momentum is definitely a good sign. The ideal of the USMCA and NAFTA before it was that you would have this one unified trading bloc, and this is one of those key pieces to really validate that all the countries are going to adhere to their commitments.”

The requirements in the requirement sheet include:

  • Shipments must comply with the “Operational Work Plan for Export of Fresh Potatoes for Consumption or Processing from the United States to Mexico;”
  • Have a Phytosanitary Certificate issued by officials authorized by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that the shipment was found free from regulated pests in the work plan;
  • Potatoes must be brushed, washed, sorted and free of soil;
  • Fresh potatoes must be packed for export to Mexico in packages of 20 pounds (9.09 kg) or less, identified with traceability data; and
  • Shipments must be sealed at the inspection point.

“It is important to recognize the tireless efforts of USDA-APHIS, USTR and the U.S. Embassy staff in Mexico City. Their work has been essential to getting these positive results on this long-standing trade issue,” said Jared Balcom, NPC Vice President of Trade Affairs.

Source: NPC newsletter – Eye on DC. Read the newsletter here

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