Importing Avocados

Inspection and certification is required for imported shipments of greater than 55 lbs. of avocados.  The cost of the inspection and certification is paid by the applicant.  View the full regulations for grade and maturity.

Avocados imported into the United States must meet the following minimum requirements prior to importation:

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.

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 as established in the Avocado maturity regulations (§944.31).

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 dates for each variety listed in Table 1 of the Avocado maturity regulations (§944.31).

Note: The dates on Table 1 fluctuate from year to year as the actual date of importation is the nearest Monday to the date indicated on the table.  The Avocado Shipping Schedule, provided below, indicates the actual date of importation (A, B, C, D dates) into the United States for each season.

Avocado Shipping Schedule 2015-16 Season (pdf)

Avocado Shipping Schedule 2016-17 Season (pdf)

Specific Exemptions

Imported shipments of 55 lbs. or less of avocados may be exempt from grade and certification requirements. The Importer's Exempt Commodity Form (SC-6) is used for avocados for consumption in exempted outlets such as charitable institutions, distribution by relief agencies, seed, 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.

The SC-6 exemption form must now be filed through the Compliance and Enforcement Management System (CEMS). The MOLS system previously utilized by AMS has been transitioned to CEMS. Visit Section 8e Exemptions – SC-6 Certificate for further information on the new CEMS and SC-6 Certificates. Also, visit Filing a SC-6 Certificate in CEMS for directions for registering for CEMS and instructions on filing a SC-6 Certificate.

Timeline

Avocado importers should arrange for inspection and certification at least one day prior to entry at Port inspection offices and at least two days prior to entry at the Field Operations Section.