The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will now allow the importation of sand pears, Pyrus pyrifolia, from China starting January 18. The two-tiered regulation change will take into account whether the fruit originates from a zone containing Oriental fruit flies, Bactrocera dorsalis.

All sand pears will require a phytosanitary certificate declaring competition of import regulations and absence of pests, as well as registration of production areas and packing houses, use of pest-free materials, inspection for quarantine pests and proper fruit storage.

Pears from Oriental fruit fly zones will also be required to implement a monitoring system for the insect in production areas and packing houses, and utilize a cold treatment for the fruit.

The import status change has been years in the making, following a request by China to open doors for the fruit and put it on the same level as Ya [Chinese white pear] and fragrant pears.

The deal also comes after an informal agreement between China and the U.S. in September seeking to open the Chinese market to U.S. pears as well.

The two nations have been in pear discussion for almost two decades now, with pushes from both sides to welcome exports.

Source: Fresh Fruit Portal Dec 2012

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