INSPECTION REQUIRED – Avocados* imported into the United States must meet the following minimum grade and/or maturity 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 avocado 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 REQUIREMENTS - All avocados must grade at least U.S. No. 2, as such grade is defined in the U.S. standards for Florida Avocados (7 CFR 51.3050 through 51.3069).
MATURITY REQUIREMENTS - All avocados imported into the United States, except the Haas, Fuerte, Zutano, and Edranol varieties, must meet the following maturity requirements:
Color - Avocado varieties, which change to any shade of red or purple when mature, except for the Linda variety, may be imported if any portion of the skin of the fruit has changed to the normal color for that variety when mature, or if the fruit meets the following minimum weight or diameter requirements.
Minimum Weights or Diameters - Avocados not meeting the color maturity requirements, may only be imported if the fruit meets the minimum weight or diameter requirements for the specified effective periods for each variety listed.
* Does not apply to minimum quantities not exceeding 55 pounds.
CONDITIONS FOR THE IMPORTATION OF COMMODITIES EXEMPT FROM IMPORT REQUIREMENTS - The Importer's Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) is used for avocados for 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, seed 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 AVOCADO FAILING INSPECTION - Avocados 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 the avocados; (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 of under the procedures listed in (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, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), will certify the grade and maturity, of avocados prior to importation into the United States and will issue the official inspection certificates required on all avocado imports.
USDA inspection and certification services are 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 is paid by the applicant.
Avocado importers should arrange for inspection and certification at offices listed 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, Fax: (202) 720-0393.