MOROCCO – Morocco’s National Office for Food Health Safety (ONSSA) has announced that the United States has approved the import of Moroccan raspberries.

According to a Maghreb Arab Press report, negotiations between ONSSA and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) led to the signing of an action plan, allowing the import of Moroccan fresh raspberries into the US market.

MAP further noted that the US authorities have made it a requirement that the fruit must be authorized by ONSSA before export.

The statement noted that exports must “be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from ONSSA.”

The ONSSA certification will show that the fruit was produced and packaged in accordance with US requirements.

 “The opening of the new market will contribute to an increase in Moroccan exports of red fruits,” ONSSA said.

ONSSA has 68 authorized establishments active in the red fruit sector in Morocco and the sector according to the Authority, the country has witnessed continuous development in recent years as part of Morocco’s Green Plan.

Morocco exports more than 140,000 tons of red fruit annually to more than 40 countries, including those in the European Union.

The ONSSA statement followed a memo from the US administration to inform its citizens of the government’s decision to authorize the import of fresh raspberries from Morocco.

Based on “the findings of a pest risk analysis, which we made available to the public for review and comment, we have determined that the application for one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introduction of disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of raspberries from Morocco,” the US government statement read in part.

Morocco and the US share trade collaboration through a Free Trade Agreement that the two countries signed in 2004.

The agreement came which was in 2004  into effect in 2006 and has greatly improved trade activities between the US and Morocco.

In December 2018, the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Moroccan government “has agreed to allow imports of U.S. beef and beef products into Morocco,” under the terms of the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

USDA also announced in August 2018 that Morocco will import US poultry, opening up an estimated “$10 million market.”