APHIS Prohibiting Fresh Bell Pepper Imports from Spain into U.S.

Clint Thompson Bell peppers

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is prohibiting the importation of fresh bell peppers for consumption from Spain into the U.S. effective Dec. 29, 2022.

Adult male Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann). Photograph by USDA.

The decision was made to prevent the introduction of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata, Medfly). APHIS is also prohibiting overland in-bond transit movements of these materials south of 39° latitude and west of 104° longitude. APHIS is taking this action in response to multiple Medfly detections during Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspections of commercial consignments of fresh bell peppers from Spain at ports of entry into the United States.

Medfly poses an unacceptable risk to the United States because of its extensive host range and ability to reproduce quickly. This prohibition will be in place until APHIS investigates and determines that the importation of commercial consignments of fresh bell peppers from Spain do not threaten U.S. agriculture.

Other Capsicum species (Capsicum baccatum L. var. baccatum, Capsicum chinense, and Capsicum frutescens) currently allowed entry from Spain into U.S. are not affected by this Federal Order except as follows: APHIS requires the phytosanitary certificate accompanying each consignment of fresh pepper for consumption from Spain to include the full botanical name (genus and species) of the pepper in the consignment; listing the genus name only is not acceptable.

For more information please visit: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/federal-import-orders/.

For additional information regarding this Federal Order, please contact Eutychus Kariuki, risk manager, at 301-356-6657 or via email at Eutychus.Kariuki@usda.gov.