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USDA Reviewing Info Collections on Commodity Imports Exempt from Reporting

Monday, March 31, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is accepting comments through May 30 on the proposed extension and revision of forms utilized by importers of commodities that are exempt from section 8e import regulations.

Section 8e requires that whenever the USDA issues grade, size, quality or maturity regulations under domestic marketing orders, the same or comparable regulations must be issued for imported commodities. Import regulations apply only during those periods when domestic marketing order regulations are in effect.

Currently, the following commodities are subject to section 8e import regulations: avocados, grapefruit, kiwifruit, olives (other than Spanish-style), oranges, table grapes, Irish potatoes, onions, tomatoes, dates (other than dates for processing), walnuts, raisins, pistachios and hazelnuts (filberts). However, imports of these commodities are exempt from section 8e requirements if they are imported for such outlets as processing, charity, animal feed, seed, and distribution to relief agencies when those outlets are exempt under the applicable marketing orders.

Importers wishing to import commodities for exempt purposes must complete form FV-6, Importer’s Exempt Commodity Form, prior to importation through the Marketing Order Online System. Importers that correctly input their shipment data into MOLS will receive and be able to print a certificate that accompanies the shipment. Data are simultaneously transmitted to the receiver and to AMS, where they are reviewed for compliance purposes.

AMS notes that in rare instances a paper form FV-6 may be used. The hardcopy form has four parts, which are distributed as follows: copy one is presented to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, copy two is filed with USDA within two days of the commodity entering the U.S., copy three accompanies the exempt shipment to its intended destination (where the receiver certifies its receipt and that it will be used for exempt purposes and files that copy with USDA within two days of receipt), and copy four is retained by the importer.

In addition, produce importers sign form FV-7, Civil Penalty Stipulation Agreement.

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