Morocco given a nod to export raspberries to the US

MOROCCO – Morocco’s National Office for Food Health Safety (ONSSA) announced that the US has approved the import of Moroccan raspberries.

Negotiations between ONSSA and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) led to the signing of an action plan, allowing the import of Moroccan fresh raspberries into the US market, report Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).

US authorities said the fruit must be authorized by ONSSA before export.

The statement noted that exports must “be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from ONSSA.” The certification will show that the fruit was produced and packaged in accordance with US requirements.

ONSSA said that there are 68 authorized establishments active in the red fruit sector in Morocco.

“The opening of the new market will contribute to the increase in Moroccan exports of red fruits,” ONSSA said.

The sector has witnessed continuous development in recent years as part of Morocco’s Green Plan.

Morocco exports more than 140,000 tons of red fruit annually to more than 40 countries, including the EU.

The ONSSA statement followed a memo from the US administration to inform its citizens of the government’s decision to authorize the import of fresh raspberries from Morocco.

The US government said in July 2019 that based on “the findings of a pest risk analysis, which we made available to the public for review and comment, we have determined that the application for one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introduction of disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of raspberries from Morocco.”

Morocco and the US share trade collaboration through a Free Trade Agreement that the two countries signed in 2004. The agreement came into effect in 2006.

Trade activities between the US and Morocco have increased over the past year.

In December 2018, the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Moroccan government “has agreed to allow imports of U.S. beef and beef products into Morocco,” under the terms of the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

USDA also announced in August 2018 that Morocco will import US poultry, opening up an estimated “$10 million market.”

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