Flegenheimer International has just been notified by USDA that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is requiring blueberry shipments from regions VI, VII and VIII in Chile destined for the United States to be fumigated at the point of origin. These shipments will also be subject to an increased inspection rate at both the ports of export and entry. The new requirements are effective immediately.
This action is being taken in response to multiple detections of the European Grapevine Moth (EGVM), Lobesia botrana, in Chilean blueberry orchards. Until recently, fresh blueberries were not considered to be a preferred host of EGVM. Because of a substantial growth of the EGVM population in Chile and its unexpected detection on fresh blueberry, APHIS has determined these new requirements are necessary to prevent the entry of EGVM into the United States.