A procedural snafu has developed in another interesting round of events in the effort to get United States fresh potatoes shipped into Mexico.
The Animal Plant Health Inspection Service has received a letter from Mexican officials explaining a reversal on its commitment to accept fresh imported potato samples numbering 100.
Mexican officials had agreed to a shipping protocol some months ago. However, officials at SAGARPA indicated they wanted to obtain more information on the new procedure and to see an established record of reduction of interceptions at the border prior to reinstatement.
The statement with APHIS to reduce the number of sample potatoes to 100 is a reversal of the the one reached between APHIS and SAGARPA at the recent North American Plant Protection Organization meeting held in the last few weeks.
New shipping procedures require shippers to peel 400 tubers for each load destined for Mexico to make sure the tubers meet border inspection/importation standards. APHIS has not yet responded to Mexico’s reversal.