USDA proposes rules for importing Colombian peppers

USDA proposes rules for importing Colombian peppers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has laid the groundwork imports of peppers from Colombia.

The USDA has published a pest risk assessment that lays out the requirements for Colombian producers to export fresh peppers to the continental U.S.

Comments on the document are being accepted at until July 8.

The USDA said that the agency has concluded that fresh peppers can be safely imported from Colombia into the continental U.S. using one or more of five designated phytosanitary measures.

Colombia won’t be a big exporter of peppers to the U.S., according to the USDA. The U.S. receives 733,000 metric tons (84%) of its pepper imports from Mexico, according to the USDA. If the U.S. were to import all of Colombia’s pepper production — about 26,000 metric tons per year — the agency said it would account for 3% of total U.S. imports and less than 4% of the U.S. pepper imports from Mexico.