Chicago CBP Processes First Shipment of Pakistani Mangoes
Chicago - With their high sucrose content and descriptive adjectives like aromatic, juicy, delightful, delicious and even heavenly, a shipment of mangoes arrived on a commercial flight from Pakistan to Chicago O'Hare Airport on July 27 and were processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists for the first time in U.S. agriculture history since regulations prohibiting the exotic fruit fly, 7 CFR 319.56, went into effect.
"This is a big deal for us in expanding global trade. CBP in Chicago is proud to be a part of this new and unique protocol for Pakistani mangoes which partner our agriculture specialists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the irradiation facility to open up a new market for international commerce," said David Murphy CBP Director of Field Operations in Chicago. "Right now, commercial shipments of Pakistani mangoes are only allowed port entry at Chicago's O'Hare Airport because of its proximity to the irradiation facility. Here in Chicago, we worked very hard to make this happen and as a result, America can now enjoy this new treat."
The first shipment of Pakistani mangoes arrived from Pakistan on Wednesday evening, July 27. The flight was met by CBP agriculture specialists who examined the shipment and verified the pest proof protective packaging, making sure the fruit were compliant. The agriculture specialists also looked for any pests arriving with the shipment and verified the documentation and permit. CBP then sealed the shipment in a refrigerated container for delivery to the irradiation facility. The irradiation process devitalizes any fruit flies or seed pests, such as the weevil, which is commonly associated with mangoes from that region.
In June of 2010, CBP and USDA began to draft the procedures that would allow for the shipment of Pakistani mangoes while mitigating the risk to U.S. agriculture from exotic pests and diseases. CBP and USDA finalized examination procedures earlier this year. Mango imports from Pakistan are currently limited to a direct air route to Chicago and then to the irradiation facility. Once treated, the mangoes are given to the importer and are free to be distributed within the U.S.
CBP would like to remind travelers that only fresh Pakistani mangoes from commercial shipments will be allowed in the United States and only an importer with a valid import permit in the United States may import them. Passengers who mistakenly transport personal quantities will have to relinquish them to CBP agriculture specialists at ports of entry before entering the U.S.
There are over 2,300 CBP agriculture specialists working along side CBP officers at ports of entry finding pests and diseases that can harm U.S. agriculture. CBP agriculture canines, known as the beagle brigade, use their extremely effective noses to ferret out prohibited fruits, meats and plants from all parts of the world before they can enter the U.S. On a typical day, CBP agriculture specialists intercept over 500 pests at ports of entry. They are constantly on the job keeping our food supply and our families safe.