Mexico to lift fresh U.S. potato barrier
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Mexican government has published final regulations that establish a framework for allowing the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes into all of Mexico, the National Potato Council and U.S. Potato Board announced Thursday afternoon.
The importation of U.S. fresh potatoes has not been allowed beyond the area within 26 kilometers of the Mexican border. Even with that restriction, Mexico has been the No. 2 importer of fresh U.S. spuds.
The expanded shipments should be allowed to commence before June, according to the press release. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will review shipping and labeling requirements of U.S. potatoes bound for Mexico during the next several weeks.
APHIS intends to publish its own final rule in the Federal Register next week, according to the press release.
“Publishing the final rule is an important step in the parallel regulatory efforts taking place on both sides of the border,” NPC and USPB officials said in their joint press release. “The final regulations issued by Mexico provide the structure for trade in potatoes between all countries and Mexico. A specific protocol agreed to by the U.S. and Mexico will govern the specifics of potato trade between the countries.”
A translated version of the regulation is available online at http://nationalpotatocouncil.org/files/3813/9531/6659/031914.COFEMER.pdf.