• ITVI.USA
    15,462.460
    -34.260
    -0.2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.752
    0.009
    0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.670
    -0.440
    -2.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,437.200
    -29.190
    -0.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,462.460
    -34.260
    -0.2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.752
    0.009
    0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.670
    -0.440
    -2.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,437.200
    -29.190
    -0.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
American ShipperShippingTrade and ComplianceWarehouse

Miami’s perishable industry seeks relief from USDA fees

The PortMiami Perishables Committee, which represents the region’s bustling fruits and vegetable import industry, has asked the nation’s top agricultural official to intervene in turning back significant federal treatment fee increases.

   PortMiami’s bustling fruits and vegetable import industry has asked the nation’s top agricultural official to intervene in turning back significant federal treatment fee increases.
   The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has increased its Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI) treatment fees from $0 to $47 to $95 in two years. The agency announced the fee increases in an Oct. 29, 2015 Federal Register notice, which calls for further increases to $142, $190 and $237 over the next three years. 
   The PortMiami Perishables Committee, which includes about 45 South Florida importers, customs brokers, warehousemen, truckers, packing houses, and fumigators, warned in a recent letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue that the increased treatment fees will “negatively impact overall trade in the region and especially impact the small and medium U.S. firms involved in the perishables trade and will have a substantial effect on future cargo imports, reducing port revenues and jobs region-wide.”
   The committee noted that the fees are particularly “disproportionate” to South Florida where AQI fees are assessed on a per-trailer-load basis rather than per warehouse as in other ports throughout the United States.
   The committee suggested that instead of assessing a “per treatment” fee that does not take into account the volume of goods treated, APHIS should assess the fee based on the volume of products treated. “Alternatively, capture the treatment costs in the conveyance fees charged to all carriers, as was done prior to creation of the treatment fee two years ago,” the committee said.
   Congress authorized USDA through the 1990 Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act to prescribe and collect user fees sufficient to cover the costs of providing AQI services. However, the General Accountability Office in 2008 found that the AQI program was operating at a deficit and increasingly subsidized by taxpayers. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget directed APHIS to conduct a thorough review of its fees and propose adjustments to cover the costs of providing AQI services.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.

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