According to Dao Tran Nhan, Viet Nam's Commercial Counselor in the United States, the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced the import license, effective on December 29.
After analyzing the potential plant pest risks, APHIS scientists determined that mangos from Vietnam can be safely imported under a “systems approach,” the agency said.
APHIS defines the systems approach as a series of measures taken by growers, packers, and shippers that together minimize pest risks prior to import into the United States.
In this case, APHIS explained “the systems approach for mangos from Vietnam includes orchard or packinghouse requirements, irradiation treatment, and port of entry inspection, to protect against the introduction of plant pests and diseases.”
A Japan’s supermarket sells Vietnamese mangos.
The agency is also requiring these mangos be imported in commercial shipments and accompanied by phystosanitary certificates verifying the fruit was produced under these conditions. These certificates must include an additional declaration stating the fruit was inspected and found free of black mango spot.
Mangoes will become the sixth Vietnamese fruit to be exported to the United States. The others are dragon fruit, rambutan, litchi, longan and star apple.
Viet Nam expects to export 3,000 tons of fresh mango to the United States annually, representing less than one per cent of the United States' fresh mango imports.
The United States imports nearly 400,000 tons of fresh mango per year from Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Guatemala. Although mangoes are grown in Florida and Hawaii, and in smaller quantities in California and Texas, total annual production amounts to only 3,000 tons.
This move is expected to help increase Vietnam’s exports of fruits next time. Analysts said the target for some US$3 billion from vegetable and fruit exports this year is achievable.
Vietnam exported US$240 million of vegetables and fruits last month, taking the total to US$2.86 billion in the year to end-October, up 42.6 percent year-on-year.
Vietnamese fruit and vegetable were exported to choosy markets such as Japan and the US in January-October. Particularly, Japan purchased US$104 million of vegetables and fruits from Vietnam while the U.S. imported US$84 million of the products from Vietnam, growing 67.6 percent and 23.2 percent against the year-ago period respectively.
The UK, South Korea, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia bought a large volume of vegetables and fruits from Vietnam in the period.
Revenue from vegetable and fruit exports exceeded that of Vietnam’s key export products such as rice, crude oil and coal.
Export turnover from vegetables and fruits is expected to reach US$10 billion by 2020.
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said Vietnamese vegetables and fruits have been easily exported to other countries. Vietnam has achieved impressive results in the process of finding new markets for these products despite technical barriers.
Vietnam has shipped dragon fruit, rambutan, longan and litchi to the U.S., litchi and mango to Australia, mango and dragon fruit to Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, and fresh fruits to ASEAN, the European Union, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Canada.