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Fruit, Vegetable and Specialty Crop Import Regulations Updated

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued an interim rule updating the reporting and notification requirements associated with the fruit, vegetable and specialty crop import regulations for certain regulated commodities. AMS states that these changes support the International Trade Data System, which will streamline and automate the filing of import and export information by the trade community. Comments on this rule are due by 3 February.The changes made by this rule include the following.

  • shifting the procedure for filing an exempt commodity form for tomatoes destined for non-commercial outlets for experimental purposes from the tomato import regulations to the safeguard procedures section of the vegetable import regulations
  • updating the pistachio import regulations by removing reference to a paper-based notification of entry process (known as the “stamp and fax” process), which is being replaced by an electronic filing requirement developed to comply with the ITDS
  • simplifying a statement in the olive and date import regulations about the requirement for importers to provide USDA inspectors with identifying information, including a customs entry number, for each lot being inspected
  • removing from the date import regulations a paragraph entitled “importation” because it contains redundant and incomplete information about filing inspection or exemption documents with CBP

AMS notes that its Marketing Order and Agreement Division is currently developing the functionality of a new automated system called the Compliance and Enforcement Management System that will interface with ACE in support of ITDS. CEMS will contain several features, including an exempt imported commodities module and the ability to message CBP about whether a shipment may be released for importation into the United States.

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