INSPECTION REQUIRED - All raisins offered for importation must be inspected and meet grade and size requirements listed in the table below for the type being imported. Raisins failing inspection may be reconditioned and presented for re-inspection against those requirements or imported for use in the production of alcohol, or syrup for industrial use. In addition, raisins failing inspection only for mechanical damage or sugaring may be imported for use in the production of raisin paste. Persons importing failing raisins for these purposes are subject to form filing requirements. According to 7 CFR Section 989.173, California handlers receiving raisins produced from grapes grown outside of California must submit to the Raisin Administrative Committee and USDA a report of such receipts. Any lot of raisins which does not exceed 100 pounds, net weight, may be imported without inspection. Raisins imported into the United States must meet the following minimum grade and/or size requirements prior to importation (release from custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in accordance with § 944.31 (7 CFR part 944). This raisin import regulation is issued under Section 8e (7 U.S.C. 608e-1) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674).
All raisins imported for use as raisins must meet the following size and grade requirements:
Type of Raisin and Grade and Size:
Seedless Raisins, Natural: Seedless Raisins includes those raisins commonly referred to in international trade as Sultana raisins and means raisins made from Thompson Seedless (Sultana) grapes and from grapes with characteristics similar to Thompson Seedless grapes. Seedless raisins shall be at least 70 percent, by weight, of raisins well matured or reasonably well matured.
U.S. Grade C as defined in the United States Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins. For select size and mixed-sized raisins, at least U.S. Grade B for pieces of stem and undeveloped and substandard raisins. For small (midget) sized raisins, at least a Grade C for pieces of stem, and undeveloped and substandard raisins
At least U.S. Grade C as defined in standards.
At least U.S. Grade B as defined for "Layer or Cluster Raisins with Seeds" in said standards, except for the provisions therein relating to moisture content.
U.S. Grade B as defined in standards.
Same as for Seedless Raisins except that the tolerance for moisture is 19 percent.
Golden Seedless Raisins
Same as for Seedless Raisins and the color requirements for "colored" as defined in the standards.
DISPOSITION OF RAISINS FAILING INSPECTION - Importers whose raisins fail to meet the above requirements may:
(1) Recondition the Failing Product for Domestic Use - The importer must request approval from the Food and Drug Administration for reconditioning and will have up to 120 days from the date of the failing Certificate of Quality and Condition (FV-146) to complete the reconditioning process and obtain a passing FV-146. During this period, monitoring will be conducted by Specialty Crop Inspection Division (SCID) personnel. After the product is reconditioned, the importer will complete the Importers Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) to indicate proper disposition of residual materials. Copies of the FV-6 must be provided to the Marketing Order and Agreement Division (MOAD). The residuals from imported raisins may be used only in the production of alcohol, syrup for industrial use, and raisin paste, provided that residual material to be used for raisin paste is inspected and meets all quality requirements except for mechanical damage and sugaring. If necessary, a second request for reconditioning may be granted.
(2) Recondition the Failing Product for Re-Export - The importer will have up to 120 days from the date of the failing Certificate of Quality and Condition (FV-146) to complete the reconditioning process and re-export the raisins. PPB personnel will monitor the lot. The Importers Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) must be used to indicate proper disposition of residual materials. The importer will submit copies of the U.S. Customs Service Form 7512 "Transportation Entry and Manifest of Goods Subject to Customs Inspection and Permit" verifying the exportation of the lot to the MOAD.
(3) Re-Export the Failing Product, without Reconditioning -The importer will have up to 120 days from the date of the failing Certificate of Quality and Condition (FV-146) to re-export the raisins. SCID personnel will monitor the lot, using the same procedures currently in place for non-California raisins; i.e., lots will be tagged and maintained under PPB surveillance until shipment. The importer will submit copies of the U.S. Customs Service Form 7512 "Transportation Entry and Manifest of Goods Subject to Customs Inspection and Permit" verifying the exportation of the lot.
(4) Destroy the Failing Product - Dumping or destroying must be done under the supervision of the SCID.
RAISINS DESTINED FOR PROCESSING: Prior to importation, each importer desiring to import raisins failing to meet the grade and size requirements listed above for processing shall file an executed Importers Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) with Customs at the port where the Customs entry is filed. After such filing, the importer shall transmit a copy of the Importers Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) to USDA-AMS-FV-MOAD, Room 1406, Washington, DC, 20250; telephone (202) 720-2491, FAX (202) 720-5698.
The importer shall obtain from each purchaser, not later than the time of delivery to such purchaser, an executed Importers Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) and file with MOAD, not later than the fifth day of the month following the month in which the raisins were delivered to the purchaser.
One copy of the executed Importers Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) shall be retained by the importer and one copy shall be retained by the purchaser. Each reseller of such raisins should, for his/her protection, obtain from each purchaser and maintain in his/her files, an executed Importers Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) covering such sales of raisins for at least one year. The receiver shall also retain a copy of the FV-6 for one year.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR OBTAINING USDA INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION - The Specialty Crop Inspection Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, is designated as the governmental inspection agency for the purpose of certifying the quality and maturity of the raisins prior to importation into the United States.
USDA inspection and certification services will be available upon application, in accordance with the rules and regulations governing the inspection and certification of processed fruits and vegetables, processed products thereof, and certain other processed food products.
[7 CFR Part 52]. The inspection applicant is responsible for paying the cost of the inspection and certification. Importers should make arrangements for inspection and certification prior to entry at port inspection offices.
Washington Headquarters Inspection Office: USDA, AMS, Fruit and Vegetable Program, Specialty Crop Inspection Division, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Stop Code 0240, Room 0709-S, Washington, D.C. 20250-0240. Telephone: (202) 720-4693.