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Dispute Resolution General Information  
The PACA provides a forum where firms that buy and sell fruits and vegetables can settle commercial disputes outside of the civil court system through:

Informal complaint - if your firm is involved in a dispute, you can file at an informal reparation complaint with any PACA Branch regional office. The complaint must be in writing, accompanied by the current $100 filing fee before a reparation complaint case can be opened.

Mediation - disputes can sometimes be resolved quickly without the need for an attorney or a collection agency. Our staff is trained to help you resolve contract disputes and preserve business relationships.

Formal complaint - in the event informal efforts fail to settle the claim, the complaining firm can file a formal reparation complaint which could result in an order issued by USDA for payment.

For us to handle a formal reparation complaint:

  • The document must be notarized;
  • Submitted in triplicate; and
  • Accompanied by a $500 handling fee.

The handling fee is recoverable to the complainant if the respondent is found to have violated the PACA.


Foreign nationals, with the exception of most Canadian firms, must also post either a surety bond or a cash surety bond for double the amount of the claim in the formal complaint. The bond must be submitted along with the formal complaint and the filing fee. We have provided a sample bond form (PDF) and a Sample Nonresident– Cash Surety Bond Agreement to assist you in this process.

  Last Modified Date: 02/15/2012