Imported Kiwifruit and Kiwifruit Grown in California; Relaxation of Minimum Grade Requirement [Doc. No. AMS-FV-13-0032; FV13-920-1 FIR] Effective March 7, 2014. [Notice PDF
MAJOR PROVISIONS: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has adopted a final rule that relaxed the minimum grade requirement for kiwifruit imported into the United States and for kiwifruit grown in California, that are shipped to the fresh market, by increasing the tolerance of kiwifruit which is “badly misshapen” from 7 percent to 16 percent. This change is intended to facilitate the packing of fruit to meet the minimum grade requirement and reduce costs associated with re-sorting and repacking this grade of fruit.
8e REQUIREMENTS: 8e requirements specify that imported commodities must meet the same or comparable minimum grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements, as those specified under this Marketing Order.
INSPECTION REQUIRED: All kiwifruit imported into the United States must meet the following minimum grade and size requirements prior to importation, in accordance with § 944.550 (7 CFR Part 944). This kiwifruit import regulation is issued under section 8e (7 U.S.C. 608e) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674).
GRADE REQUIREMENTS: All kiwifruit must grade at least U.S. No. 1, except that such fruit shall be "not badly misshapen." An additional tolerance of 16 percent is provided for kiwifruit that is "badly misshapen".
SIZE REQUIREMENTS: At least size 45, regardless of the size or weight of the shipping containers. The average weight of all samples from a specific lot must weigh at least 8 pounds, provided, that no individual sample may be less than 7 pounds 12 ounces in weight. Sample sizes will consist of a maximum of 55 pieces of fruit. If containers have size designations, containers with different designations must be inspected separately.
MINIMUM MATURITY REQUIREMENT: The minimum maturity requirement is 6.2 percent soluble solids at the time of inspection.
*Regulations do not apply to shipments under 200 pounds.
CONDITIONS FOR THE IMPORTATION OF COMMODITIES EXEMPT FROM IMPORT REQUIREMENTS: The Importer's Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) is used for kiwifruit for the consumption in exempted outlets such as charitable institutions, distribution by relief agencies, or commercial processing. (Commercial processing is defined as physically altering the form or chemical composition of the fruit through canning, freezing, dehydrating, pulping, juicing, or heating of the product. The act of slicing, dicing, or peeling is not considered commercial processing).
Contact the Marketing Order and Agreement Division’s (MOAD) Compliance and Enforcement Branch at (202) 720-2491 for more information on filing the FV-6 exemption certificates within two days after the commodity enters the United States.
DISPOSITION OF KIWIFRUIT FAILING INSPECTION: Kiwifruit failing to meet the above import requirements may be: (1) exported; (2) disposed of under Federal or Federal-State Inspection Program supervision with the importer bearing the costs of certifying the disposal of such kiwifruit; (3) diverted to an exempt outlet using the FV-6 form (see various approved outlets and procedures listed above) or; (4) reconditioned and reinspected with failed portion disposed under the procedures number (2) or (3) above.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR OBTAINING USDA INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION: The Federal or Federal-State Inspection Program, Fruit and Vegetable Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is designated as the governmental inspection agency for the purpose of certifying the grade and size, of kiwifruit prior to importation into the United States and will issue the official inspection certificates required on all kiwifruit imports.
USDA inspection and certification services will be available upon application, in accordance with the rules and regulations governing the inspection and certification of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other products (7 CFR Part 51). The cost of the inspection and certification will be borne by the applicant.
Kiwifruit importers should make arrangements for inspection and certification at least one day prior to entry at Port inspection offices, two days prior to entry at the Field Operations Section at the Washington Headquarters office at (202) 720-2482 or (800) 811-2373.
Washington Headquarters Inspection Office: USDA, AMS, Fruit and Vegetable Program, Specialty Crop Inspection Division, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 1661-S, Stop 0240, Washington, D.C. 20250-0240. Telephone: (202) 720-2482 or (800) 811-2373.