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e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter IXPart 980 → §980.212


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 980—VEGETABLES; IMPORT REGULATIONS


§980.212   Import regulations; tomatoes.

(a) Findings and determinations with respect to fresh tomatoes. (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 from time to time under Marketing Order No. 966, as amended;

(ii) The marketing of fresh tomatoes from Florida covered by Marketing Order No. 966, as amended, can reasonably be expected to occur during the months of October through June;

(2) Therefore, it is hereby determined that imports of fresh tomatoes during the months of October through June are in most direct competition with the marketing of fresh tomatoes produced in Florida covered by Marketing Order No. 966, as amended.

(b) Grade, size, quality and maturity requirements. On and after the effective date hereof no person may import fresh tomatoes except pear shaped, cherry, hydroponic and greenhouse tomatoes as defined herein, unless they are inspected and meet the following requirements:

(1) From October 10 through June 15 of each season, tomatoes offered for importation shall be at least 2932 inches in diameter. Not more than 10 percent, by count, in any lot may be smaller than the minimum specified diameter. All lots of tomatoes shall be at least U.S. No. 2 grade. Provided, That UglyRipeTM and Vintage RipesTM tomatoes shall be graded and at least meet the requirements specified for U.S. No. 2 under the U.S. Standards for Grades of Fresh Tomatoes, except they are exempt from the requirements that they be reasonably well formed and not more than slightly rough, and Provided, Further that the UglyRipeTM and Vintage RipesTM tomatoes meet the requirements of the Identity Preservation program, Fresh Products Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA.

(2)—(3) [Reserved]

(c) Minimum quantity exemption. Any importation which in the aggregate does not exceed 60 pounds may be imported without regard to the provisions of this section.

(d) Plant quarantine. Provisions of this section shall not supersede the restrictions or prohibitions on tomatoes 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 tomatoes 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 tomatoes meet the United States import requirements for tomatoes 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 fresh tomatoes.

(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 980.212(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@usda.gov; or fax (202) 720-5698.

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

(5) Each inspection certificate issued with respect to any tomatoes 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 tomatoes for the purpose of making it eligible for importation.

(h) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, Importation means release from custody of the United States Bureau of Customs. Cherry tomatoes means cerasiform types commonly referred to as “cherry tomatoes.” Pear shaped tomatoes means elongated types, commonly referred to as pear shaped or paste tomatoes and include San Marzano, Red Top and Roma varieties. Hydroponic tomatoes means tomatoes grown in solution without soil. Greenhouse tomatoes means tomatoes grown indoors. The terms relating to grade and size, as used herein, shall have the same meaning as when used in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Fresh Tomatoes (7 CFR 51.1855 through 51.1877).

(i) Exemptions. The grade, size, quality and maturity requirements of this section shall not apply to tomatoes for charity, relief, canning or pickling, but such tomatoes shall be subject to the safeguard provisions contained in §980.501. Processing includes canning and pickling.

[42 FR 55192, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 43 FR 3349, Jan. 25, 1978; 57 FR 27352, June 19, 1992; 58 FR 69189, Dec. 30, 1993; 61 FR 13060, Mar. 26, 1996; 63 FR 12401, Mar. 13, 1998; 72 FR 2172, Jan. 18, 2007; 74 FR 2808, Jan. 16, 2009; 74 FR 45736, Sept. 4, 2009; 74 FR 65394, Dec. 10, 2009; 81 FR 87412, Dec. 5, 2016; 85 FR 12295, Mar. 6, 2020]

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