The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced its permission for Vietnam to export fresh husked coconut to the country.
APHIS has sent a letter to the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) regarding the US’ opening of coconut imports from Vietnam.
Vietnam gets green light to export fresh husked coconut to US.
In its August 8 letter, APHIS underlined the importance of market opening for the Vietnamese coconut, expressing its willingness to give top priority to comply with the requests made by the Vietnamese side.
According to APHIS, the agency has been concurrently planning the next steps in the market access process and conducting internal assessments to evaluate the Vietnamese husked coconut. The outcome of this evaluation affirms that the Vietnamese husked coconut satisfies the processing criteria established by the US and presents a negligible risk of spreading plant pests.
Consequently, instead of undergoing an entirely new and time-consuming regulatory procedure for granting market access to fresh produce, APHIS can utilise existing regulations applicable to processed fruit and vegetable products. This streamlined approach significantly speeds up the authorisation process for importing coconuts from Vietnam into the US.
A day earlier, APHIS completed updating the online database of agricultural goods import requirements (ACIR) to allow the import of young coconuts from Vietnam, having a minimum of 75% (3/4) of the coir removed and the outer green shell completely extracted.
According to APHIS, Vietnamese producers are eligible to commence the export of husked coconuts to the US immediately.
The sole phytosanitary conditions for shipments will be enforced exclusively at US points of entry. Currently, APHIS has duly informed the US Customs and Border Protection regarding this update, aiming to prevent any potential shipment delays upon entry into the nation.
In April this year, in a meeting with US Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said Vietnam has opened its doors to grapefruits from the US, while proposed to the US to accelerate the evaluation process and opening for Vietnamese coconuts and passion fruits.
Last year Vietnam earned 900 million USD from coconut exports. Vietnam's coconut industry currently has nearly 90 products offered in the market. Besides, there are nearly 200 food products using coconut ingredients.
The US’ opening is expected to help coconuts swiftly become one of Vietnam's billion-dollar export fruits.