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United States of America – Export requirements for fresh fruit and vegetables


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1. Eligibility requirements



Product Specifications

Maximum levels for chemical contaminants and pesticides

Grade and size requirements

Note: Some types of potatoes and onions are excluded (that is to say exempt) from the marketing order in Section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act (AMAA) of 1937 (PDF). Exemptions also exist based on the end use of the product in the USA. For more information, please refer to the USDA-AMS website Section 8e and Imports.

Prior notice

2. Inspection requirements

Section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act

Section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act (AMAA) of 1937 (PDF) applies to specific fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop exported into the United States. The AMAA requires products exported into the United States to meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality and maturity standards as domestic products covered by Federal marketing orders. The Marketing Order and Agreement Division (MOAD), in USDA-AMS enforces the Federal marketing orders for fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops, as well as compliance with import regulations.

For a list of all commodities covered by marketing orders, please refer to the Fruits & Vegetables page maintained by USDA-AMS.

All commodities subject to Section 8e of the AMAA must be presented for inspection to USDA-AMS or its Federal-State partners as separate lots that correspond to each individual Customs Entry Number. This requirement aligns the practices in all ports of entry in the USA, and will help USDA-AMS expedite its review and release of shipments from a "Hold Intact" status to a "May Proceed" status, allowing product movement to market in a speedy and efficient manner.

Exemptions to Section 8e

Exemptions to requirements in Section 8e only apply to fruits, vegetables and specialty crops exported into the United States that are destined for processing, animal feed, charity relief, certified seeds, government agencies, or other exempt outlets. It is vital that Canadian exporters review the requirements for each commodity before attempting to export under an exemption because not all exempted end uses apply to all products.

One significant type of exemption is "for processing". In most cases, processing includes canning, freezing, juice, dehydration, chips, shoestrings, starching, flouring, pickling or the application of heat or cold to such an extent that the natural form or stability of the commodity undergoes a substantial change. Peeling, cooling, slicing, dicing or applying material to prevent oxidation does not constitute processing.

All lots of commodities being exported for processing or other exempt use must be accompanied by the electronic filing of a properly executed SC-6 certificate. The SC-6 exemption form must now be filed through the Compliance and Enforcement Management System (CEMS). Canadian exporters should refer to the following links for directions on how to register and create an account in CEMS and instructions on filing a SC-6 Certificate.

Notifying CFIA prior to export

Grade verification by CFIA

Grade verification at C-PIQ establishments

Re-inspection of products at entry

Import Alerts

Canadian product returning from the United States

Note: Canadian exporters should notify the CFIA of the returning product and the reason it was refused. The exporter is responsible to arrange for the return of the product.

3. Labelling, packaging and marking requirements

Shipping marks

4. Documentation requirements

Food Safety/Human Health/Sanitary Certificate

Grade Verification Export Certificate

Phytosanitary Certificate

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