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e-CFR data is current as of February 26, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter IXPart 980 → §980.117


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 980—VEGETABLES; IMPORT REGULATIONS


§980.117   Import regulations; onions.

(a) Findings and determinations with respect to onions. (1) Under section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), it is hereby found that:

(i) Grade, size, quality, and maturity regulations have been issued regularly under Marketing Orders No. 958 and 959, both as amended;

(ii) Since December 9, 1985, grade, size, quality, and maturity regulations have been in effect pursuant to these orders during the period August through July;

(iii) The marketing of onions can be reasonably distinguished by the seasonal categories, i.e., late summer and early spring. The bulk of the late summer crop is harvested and placed in storage in late summer and early fall and marketed over a period of several months extending into the following spring. But the onions harvested from the early spring crop are generally marketed as soon as the onions are harvested. The marketing seasons for these crops overlap;

(iv) Concurrent grade, size, quality, and maturity regulations under the two marketing orders are expected in future seasons, as in the past.

(2) Therefore, it is hereby determined that: Imports of onions during the June 5 through March 9 period, and the entire year for imports of pearl and cipolline varieties of onions, are in most direct competition with the marketing of onions produced in designated counties of Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon, covered by Marketing Order No. 958, as amended (7 CFR Part 958) and during the March 10 through June 4 period the marketing of imported onions, not including pearl or cipolline varieties of onions, is in most direct competition with onions produced in designated counties in South Texas covered by Marketing Order No. 959, as amended (7 CFR part 959).

(b) Grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements. On and after the effective date hereof no person may import onions as defined herein unless they are inspected and meet the following requirements:

(1) During the period June 5 through March 9 of each marketing year, and the entire year for pearl and cipolline onions, whenever onions grown in designated counties in Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon, are regulated under Marketing Order No. 958, imported onions shall comply with the grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements imposed under that order.

(2) During the period March 10 through June 4 of each marketing year, whenever onions grown in designated counties in South Texas are regulated under Marketing Order No. 959, imported onions, not including pearl and cipolline onions, shall comply with the grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements imposed under that order.

(c) Minimum quantity exemption. Any importation which in the aggregate does not exceed 110 pounds (50 kilograms) may be imported without regard to the provisions of this section.

(d) Plant quarantine. Provisions of this section shall not supercede the restrictions or prohibitions on onions under the Plant Quarantine Act of 1912.

(e) Designation of governmental inspection service. The Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service, Specialty Crops Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food of Plant Origin Division, Plant Products Directorate, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, are hereby designated as governmental inspection services for the purpose of certifying the grade, size, quality, and maturity of onions that are imported, or to be imported, into the United States under the provisions of section 8e of the Act.

(f) Inspection and official inspection certificates. (1) An official inspection certificate certifying the onions meet the U.S. import requirements for onions under section 8e (7 U.S.C. 608e-1), issued by a designated governmental inspection service and applicable to a specified lot is required on all imports of onions.

(2) Inspection and certification by the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service will be available and performed in accordance with the rules and regulations governing certification of fresh fruits, vegetables and other products (7 CFR part 51). Each lot shall be made available and accessible for inspection as provided therein. Cost of inspection and certification shall be borne by the applicant. For questions about inspection services or for further assistance, contact: Specialty Crops Inspection Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 1536-S, STOP 0240, Washington, DC 20250-0237; telephone (202) 720-5870; fax (202) 720-0393.

(3) If certification is provided by a designated governmental inspection service other than the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service, in accordance with 980.117(e), an importer shall electronically transmit to USDA, prior to entry, the certificate number and an electronic image of the certificate using the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Automated Commercial Environment system. If this information is not provided electronically prior to entry, a paper copy of the certificate must accompany the shipment at the time of entry, and a copy of the certificate must be submitted by email or mail to the Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; telephone (888) 551-3523; email 8eImports@ams.usda.gov; or fax (202) 720-5698.

(4) Inspection certificates shall cover only the quantity of onions that is being imported at a particular port of entry by a particular importer.

(5) Each inspection certificate issued with respect to any onions to be imported into the United States shall set forth, among other things:

(i) The date and place of inspection;

(ii) The name of the shipper, or applicant;

(iii) The Customs entry number pertaining to the lot or shipment covered by the certificate;

(iv) The commodity inspected;

(v) The quantity of the commodity covered by the certificate;

(vi) The principal identifying marks on the containers;

(vii) The railroad car initials and number, the truck and trailer license number, the name of the vessel, or other identification of the shipment; and

(viii) The following statement, if the facts warrant: Meets import requirements of 7 U.S.C. 608e-1.

(g) Reconditioning prior to importation. Nothing contained in this part shall be deemed to preclude any importer from reconditioning prior to importation any shipment of onions for the purpose of making it eligible for importation.

(h) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, Onions means all varieties of Allium cepa marketed dry, except dehydrated, canned, or frozen onions, pickling onions in brine, onion sets, green onions, or braided red onions. The term U.S. No. 2 has the same meaning as set forth in the United States Standards for Grades of Bermuda-Granex-Grano Type Onions (7 CFR 51.3195 through 51.3209), the United States Standards for Grades of Creole Onions (7 CFR 51.3955 through 51.3970), or the United States Standards for Grades of Onions Other Than Bermuda-Granex-Grano and Creole Types (7 CFR 51.2830 through 51.2854), whichever is applicable to the particular variety, and variations thereof specified in this section. The term moderately cured means the onions are mature and are more nearly well cured than fairly well cured. Importation means release from the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The term pearl onions means onions produced using specific cultural practices that limit growth to 2 inches in diameter or less.

(i) Exemptions. The grade, size, quality and maturity requirements of this section shall not be applicable to onions imported for processing, livestock feed, charity, or relief, and pearl onions, onion sets (plantings), braided red onions, and minimum quantity shipments of 110 pounds, but such onions shall be subject to the safeguard provisions in §980.501. Processing includes canning, freezing, dehydration, extraction (juice) and pickling in brine. Processing does not include fresh chop, fresh cut, convenience food or other pre-packaged salad operations. Pearl onions must be inspected for size prior to entry into the United States.

[43 FR 5500, Feb. 9, 1978, as amended at 52 FR 8872, Mar. 20, 1987; 52 FR 19281, May 22, 1987; 54 FR 8520, Mar. 1, 1989; 58 FR 69189, Dec. 30, 1993; 59 FR 46912, Sept. 13, 1994; 61 FR 13060, Mar. 26, 1996; 61 FR 25557, May 22, 1996; 69 FR 56671, Sept. 22, 2004; 74 FR 2808, Jan. 16, 2009; 74 FR 65394, Dec. 10, 2009; 75 FR 1269, Jan. 11, 2010; 85 FR 12295, Mar. 6, 2020]

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