Importing Raisins

All imported for use as raisins must be inspected and meet the following grade and size requirements:  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.Muscat - At least U.S. Grade C as defined in standards. Layer Muscat - At least U.S. Grade B as defined for "Layer or Cluster Raisins with Seeds" in said standards, except for the provisions relating to moisture content. Currant - U.S. Grade B as defined in standards. Monukka and Other Seedless Raisins - 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. Raisins failing inspection may be reconditioned and presented for re-inspection, or may be 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. If reconditioning failing raisins for these purposes, the Importers Exempt Commodity Form (SC-6) must be completed. California handlers receiving raisins produced from grapes grown outside of California must submit report of these receipts to the Raisin Administrative Committee and USDA. Reconditioning & Re-inspection of RaisinsImporters 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 (SC-6) in CEMS to indicate proper disposition of residual materials. The SC-6 will be provided to the Marketing Order and Agreement Division (MOAD) through CEMS. 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. Specialty Crop Inspection Services (SCI) personnel will monitor the lot. The Importers Exempt Commodity Form (SC-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 MOAD. The importer may email a copy of the 7512 form to MOAD at 8eImports@usda.gov.
  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. USDA 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 SCI 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. The importer may email a copy of the 7512 form to MOAD at 8eImports@usda.gov.
  4. Destroy the Failing Product - Dumping or destroying must be done under the supervision of USDA inspectors. An inspection certificate indicating that the failing product was dumped will be entered electronically thereby providing notification to MOAD.
 Specific ExemptionsAny lot of raisins which does not exceed 100 pounds is exempt from these regulations. Raisins Destined for Processing - For SC-6 Exemption for Raisins Imported for Processing into Alcohol, Syrup for Industrial Use, or Paste (if the raisins do not meet Section 8e requirements with respect to mechanical damage or sugaring) - The importer shall ensure that each receiver, not later than the time of delivery of raisins to such receiver, shall execute the Importers Exempt Commodity Form (SC-6) , not later than the fifth day of the month following the month in which the raisins were delivered to the receiver.  Each reseller of such raisins should, for his/her protection, print from CEMS the completed SC-6 entry and maintain in his/her files, the completed SC-6 covering such sales of raisins for at least one year. The receiver should also print and retain the completed SC-6 for one year. 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. TimelineFor Inspections - Importers should make arrangements for inspection and certification by electronically completing an application for inspection services prior to entry at port.