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Section 8e Tomato Import Requirements  
SECTION 8E AND THE TOMATO SUSPENSION AGREEMENT:

 
Section 8e requirements of imported tomatoes from Mexico have not been changed by the Tomato Suspension Agreement. Please visit [Frequently Asked Questions] to learn more about the tomato import requirements under Section 8e, as opposed to the Tomato Suspension Agreement.

 
CURRENT RULEMAKING:

 
Vegetable Import Regulation; Modification of Potato Import Regulations and to Administrative Requirements for Onion, Potato and Tomato Import Regulations. Docket Number: AMS-FV-08-0018; FV08-980-1 FR. EFFECTIVE: January 11, 2010. [Notice PDF]

 
Vegetable Import Regulation: Partial Exemption to Minimum Grade Requirements for Fresh Tomatoes. Docket Number: AMS-FV-08-0097; FV09-980-1 FR. EFFECTIVE: October 5, 2009. [Notice PDF]

 
Vegetable Import Regulation: Partial Exemption to Minimum Grade Requirements for Fresh Tomatoes. Docket Number: AMS-FV-08-0097; FV09-980-1 PR. Comments due by May 8, 2009. [Notice PDF]

 
INSPECTION REQUIRED - All tomatoes imported into the United States must meet the following minimum grade and size requirements prior to importation, in accordance with § 980.212 (7 CFR Part 980). This tomato 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). Grade and size requirements are in effect from October 10 through June 15 of each year.

 
GRADE REQUIREMENTS - All tomatoes must grade at least U.S. No. 2.
SIZE REQUIREMENTS - All tomatoes must be at least 2-9/32 inches in diameter.

 
*Tomato requirements do not apply to minimum quantities not exceeding 60 pounds per day, pear shaped, cherry, hydroponic, and greenhouse.

 
CONDITIONS FOR THE IMPORTATION OF COMMODITIES EXEMPT FROM IMPORT REQUIREMENTS - The Importer's Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) is used for tomatoes for the consumption in exempted outlets such as charitable institutions, distribution by relief agencies, canning, and pickling.

 
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 TOMATOES FAILING TO MEET INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS - Tomatoes failing to meet the above import requirements may be: (1) exported; (2) disposed of under Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service supervision with the importer bearing the costs of certifying the disposal of such tomatoes; (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 tomatoes prior to importation into the United States and will issue the official inspection certificates required on all tomato 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.

 
Tomato 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.

 
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.

 
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  Last Modified Date: 06/13/2013