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How To Import Produce Products Into The US

Your how-to guide on fresh fruits and vegetable imports into the US

If you are importing fresh produce items such as bananas, kiwis, grapes, mangoes and melons etc. into the US, you must know what government parties are involved, what regulations must be followed, and the fundamental aspects of produce importing.

Parties Involved:

  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Customs Broker
  • Carrier

Main Regulations:

  • All fruits and vegetables entering the US are subject to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
  • Under FSMA the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) was introduced
  • The Produce Safety Rule established under FSMA applies to all production and handling of produce
  • Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 introduced the requirement for facilities to register with FDA
  • The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C) introduced the Prior Notice Rule
  • Plant and Plant Products are regulated by USDA and may require a permit and other detailed information on your declaration

Import Fundamentals:

  • You will be acting as the Importer of Record. Therefore, you are the party ultimately responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the import declaration; as well as, the payment of applicable duties and taxes into the US
  • Duty and tax must be paid upon importation
  • The rate of duty is determined by the tariff of the commodity being imported, value of the goods, and origin of the goods.
  • Certain import documentation is required to be presented to the border services officer at the port of entry
  • Your import may be subject to a customs review, inspection or audit prior to, at the time of, or after the importation. Additional fees may be levied by the Government of the US for these services
  • You are required to keep your import records for five years following the date of import and can be audited by Customs at any point during this time

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