Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas and Imported Oranges; Change in Size Requirements for Oranges. [Docket No. AMS-FV-14-0009; FV14-906-1 FIR] EFFECTIVE: July 17, 2014. [Notice PDF
8e Requirements: Section 8e of the Act provides that when certain domestically produced commodities, including oranges, are regulated under a Federal marketing order, imports of that commodity must meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements. Since this rule changes the minimum size requirements for oranges, a corresponding change to the import regulations must also be considered.
Changes to the Grade Requirements: Minimum grade and size requirements for oranges imported into the United States are currently in effect under§ 944.312. Section 944.312(i) of the Fruit Import Regulations specifies that oranges imported into the United States are in most direct competition with oranges produced in the area covered by Marketing Order No. 906. This change relaxes the minimum size requirement for imported oranges from 2–6/16 inches to 2–3/16 inches. The relaxation in the minimum size requirement also has a beneficial impact for importers of oranges.
This change allows a smaller-sized orange to be shipped to the United States, thereby increasing the amount of fruit available for shipment to the fresh market, thus benefiting importers.
Ray Prewett, Manager; Texas Valley Citrus Committee; 901 Business Park Drive, Suite 400; Mission, Texas 78572; Phone: (956) 584-1772. Web site: www.texasproduceassociation.com/who/structure.asp
AMS CONTACT: Director, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, Phone: (202) 720-2491.
INSPECTION REQUIRED: All oranges, except for exempted quantities are required to be inspected and certified as meeting the following grade and size requirements prior to importation, which includes release from custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), in accordance with § 944.312 (7 CFR Part 944). This orange import regulation is issued under Section 8e (7 U.S.C. 608) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674). Grade and size requirements are in effect for oranges imported into the United States from September 1 through June 30 of each year.
GRADE REQUIREMENT: Must grade at least U.S. No. 2, except during the months of July and August.
SIZE REQUIREMENT: The oranges must be at least 2 3/16 inches in diameter.
*Orange import requirements do not apply to minimum quantities not exceeding 400 pounds or equivalent quantity.
CONDITIONS FOR THE IMPORTATION OF COMMODITIES EXEMPT FROM IMPORT REQUIREMENTS: The Importer's Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) is used for oranges for the consumption in exempted outlets such as charitable institutions, distribution by relief agencies, animal feed, or commercial processing, including canning, freezing, dehydrating, drying, and the addition of chemical substances or by fermentation. Oranges that are imported for exempt use cannot be shipped to processors who have facilities, equipment, or outlets to repack or sell in fresh form.
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 ORANGES FAILING TO MEET INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS: Oranges 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 oranges; (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 the failed portion disposed of under the procedures number (2) or (3) listed 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, size, quality, and maturity of oranges prior to importation into the United States, and will issue the official inspection certificates required on all orange 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.
Orange 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 Code 0240, Washington, D.C. 20250-0240. Telephone: (202) 720-2482 or (800) 811-2373.