Jul 9, 2024
USDA proposing altering import produce inspection fees

Imported produce fee changes are being proposed.

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing altering the regulations governing the inspection and certification of imported fresh fruits, vegetables and other products.

The proposed changes, announced on June 20, include implementing a per-pound fee structure for certain import inspections and reducing the sublot fee by 50%.

USDA The current carlot measurement, which defines a load by the number of containers of the same product, will be updated to account for modern shipping methods, such as bulk shipping containers, air freight and railcars. This change aims to ensure that AMS Specialty Crops Program (SCP) Specialty Crop Inspection (SCI) can recover costs based on the actual time and resources needed for inspections.

Under the new proposal, a minimum fee equivalent to a two-hour charge at the current hourly rate will be applied, or the per-pound fee, whichever is greater. This adjustment will allow shippers to assess inspection costs more accurately.

Customers with loads subject to additional sublot fees, which occur when there are significant differences in product quality or condition, will see a 50% reduction in these fees.

The changes fall under Section 8e.

Written comments on the proposed rule must be submitted by Aug. 19, 2024, online at regulations.gov, faxed to (540) 361-1199 or mailed to USDA, Specialty Crops Inspection Division, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406.

For more information, contact Brian E. Griffin at (202) 748-2155 or Brian.Griffin@usda.gov.

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