USDA Lowers Minimum Size Requirements for Imported Oranges
The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued an interim rule that, effective March 1, relaxes from 2-6/16 inches to 2-3/16 inches in diameter the minimum size currently prescribed for imported oranges. Comments are due by April 29.
Section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act provides that when certain domestically produced commodities are regulated under a federal marketing order, imports of that commodity must meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality and maturity requirements. In this rule the AMS is lowering the minimum size requirement under the domestic handling regulations for oranges to make more oranges from Texas available to the market in response to a shortage caused by a freeze in California and citrus diseases in Florida. Pursuant to section 8e, this change has the effect of allowing smaller oranges to be shipped to the U.S. from foreign producers as well.