ANNOUNCEMENT 02 Jul 2009In July 2009, the government of Mexico announced a change in trade-relevant health safety standards.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Diario Oficial de Mexico, Norma Oficial Mexicana de Emergencia NOM-EM-047-FITO 2009, 15 July 2009, http://www.dof.gob.mx/documentos/3749/sagarpa/sagarpa.htm
On 2 July 2009, the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food (SAGARPA) of the United States of Mexico issued the emergency phyto-sanitary measure NOM-EM-047-FITO-2009, which aims to prevent the spread of the Huanglongbing (HLB) virus to Mexico. HLB is a virus that causes the premature death of citrus trees and is particularly common in East and South-East Asia. According to SAGARPA, the presence of HLB in Vietnam and China forces citrus producers to spray crops with pesticides up to 50 times per year in order to ensure that the virus does not spread to uninfected trees.
Measure NOM-EM-047-FITO-2009 is targeted at both the importation of infected produce and materials and at halting the spread of potential outbreaks in Mexican terriroty. SAGARPA estimates that losses from an outbreak of the virus could cause up to MXN8 billion, based on documented cases in South Africa, in which the entire citrus crop was destroyed by HLB in a single year. As such, the Secretary has imposed the cited measures in order to empower it, among other things, to quaratine and destroy imported fruits, trees, packing materials and other goods that might carry the HLB virus. The regulations also permit SAGARPA to quarantine regions of the country infected with the virus and to limit domestic transport of infected goods.
The Secretary identified the southern United States, Cuba and Dominican Republic as the most likely points of origin for a potential outbreak of HLB in Mexico (based on trade patterns, proximity and the presence of the virus in these markets), but it also identified eight other countries (of which six are in Asia) that have routine documented cases of outbreaks.