USDA OFFERS ONLINE MANUAL OF PERMISSIBLE FRUIT, VEGETABLE IMPORTS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has made it easier for importers and overseas exporters of fruits and vegetables to know what’s permissible to import into the country.
While the USDA has produced a hard copy of this information for years, this is the first time that it’s available on the Internet, at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/manuals .
The online manual, which includes fresh herbs and sprouts, can be used to determine what permits are needed for importation into the United States.
“This manual will meet the needs of importers from around the world who want to expand their markets to the United States but are unsure of what fruits and vegetables are permitted,” the USDA said.
The database also benefits USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at the ports. Inspectors are able to use the online manual, which contains pictorial identification guides, to more quickly determine if cargo and other produce brought into the country by importers is allowed or should be confiscated.
“Fruits and vegetables not included on the list are prohibited because of the pest and disease risk associated with the produce or because a risk assessment has not been to determine if the commodity can be safely imported,” the USDA said.