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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Navigation in the Database
 

How do I search for a commodity?

Instructions for using the search feature in FAVIR is available in this FAVIR User Guide.

Who do I contact if I have questions on how to locate information on the database?


You may call 1-301-851-2046 or 1-877-770-5990, or email PPQ.FAVIR.Comments@usda.gov

Where do I provide suggestions or comments regarding use of the database?

You may call 1-301-851-2046 or 1-877-770-5990, or email PPQ.FAVIR.Comments@usda.gov.


How often is the information pertaining to allowable imports of fruits and vegetables updated?

For new market access of a fruit or vegetable, the database is updated on the effective date of the importation as listed in the Final Rule or Notice published in the Federal Register.
 

Import Requirements and Processes 

Who do I contact if I have questions about the requirements for importation of a fruit or vegetable or a fruit or vegetable that is not listed?

You may call 1-301-851-2046 or 1-877-770-5990, or email PPQ.FAVIR.Comments@usda.gov.

 How do I know what fruit and vegetables require treatment to enter the United States ?

The commodity import requirement (CIR) will include the statement “Condition of Entry Treatment” and will list the correct treatment(s). Treatment instructions are also included within the conditions of the approved permit.

 What if I don't know how to spell the name of a fruit or vegetable?

Select the radio button for Approved Name or Scientific Name. Expand the drop-down menu and type the first one or two letters of the commodity name. Select the commodity from the choices provided.

 Why is a fruit or vegetable listed under one country and not another?

If you are not able to locate a fruit or vegetable under a particular country, the fruit or vegetable is not admissible. Fruits and vegetables may be inadmissible for the following reasons: 1) no one has ever applied for a permit to import the product into the United States; 2) PPQ has not evaluated the pest risk of importing the fruit or vegetable from that country; 3) PPQ has studied the risk but cannot issue a permit because no treatment exists to eliminate the pest risk; or 4) government agencies other than PPQ have prohibited or restricted the entry of a fruit or vegetable.

What is a pest-free area?

 A pest-free area is an area that meets the requirements in Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR) 319.56-5 for a “pest-free area.” Access the electronic CFR at https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-7/subtitle-B/chapter-III/part-319?toc=1.

 If a fruit or vegetable from a particular country is not listed, what should I do to obtain approval to export to the United States ?

The National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the country of export must submit information to APHIS in accordance with 7 CFR 319.5.  This section of the CFR can be accessed electronically at https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-7/subtitle-B/chapter-III/part-319/subpart-B

Treatment
 

What does the T mean in reference to entries such as “T101” or “T402”?

The “T” stands for “treatment” and indicates a mandatory treatment is required for entry into the United States. 

How do I know if the port I want to import in has an approved treatment facility?

A list of treatment providers and approved facilities is available on the following Web site in a bulleted list located below the Treatment Manual. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/complete-list-of-electronic-manuals/ct_online_manuals 

What commodities can I treat using irradiation?
Irradiation of a particular fruit or vegetable is listed as a treatment option only after the commodity is approved through regulation and all other arrangements (signing the required agreements by the exporting country, certifying the irradiation facility, verifying proper safeguarding during transportation) have been made according to APHIS protocols.
 

 

eFile and Permits

How do I access eFile?

To access eFile and submit an electronic permit application (PPQ 587) to import fruits and vegetables, you must have an eAuthentication account. USDA agencies use the eAuthentication registration process to enable customers to access secure USDA Web applications and services. For more information about eAuthentication or to apply for an eAuthentication account, visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/banner/help/efile/landing-page

How long does it take for a permit to be issued?

It can take up to 30 days for a permit to be processed, so please apply 30 days before your first shipment arrives.

Do I have to apply for a permit each time I import?

No. It is not necessary for you to apply for a permit each time you import fruits or vegetables, provided your permit(s) specifies all import requirements for all the commodities you wish to import, and the permit(s) has not expired

Do I need a copy of my permit to accompany each shipment?

Yes. A copy of your fruit and vegetable permit(s) should accompany each shipment.

My permit has expired-what must I do to renew?

If you do not have an eAuthentication account, register and reapply for your permit. You must submit a new application. If you submit your application via fax or mail, the processing will take longer..

Is there a contact that I can use if I have questions regarding permit services?

Contact Permit Services at 1-301-851-2046 or 1-877-770-5990 (toll-free automated system); fax (301) 734-4300; email: plantproducts.permits@usda.gov. 

 

Phytosanitary Certificates and Customs Brokers
 

What is a phytosanitary certificate and how do I get one?

A phytosanitary certificate is a document (including electronic versions) that: 1) is related to the consignment; 2) is issued by an official of a foreign National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) in one of the five official languages of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 3) is addressed to the plant protection service of the United States; 4) describes the consignment; 5) certifies the consignment has been inspected and/or tested according to appropriate official procedures and is considered free from quarantine pests of the United States; and 6) contains any additional declarations required by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) specific to the commodity/country.

Obtain a phytosanitary certificate from a representative of the exporting foreign government.

You can obtain a phytosanitary certificate from a representative of the exporting foreign government.

Am I required to use a Customs Broker?


It is recommended, but is not an APHIS requirement.

Will my cargo be inspected?

YES! All perishable cargo is subject to inspection at the first U.S. port of entry by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Local CBP policy dictates inspection processes and appointments.  
  

 

Passenger Entry
 

Can I take fruit on the plane when I travel?
Yes, but you must consume all of it on the plane. Any leftovers must remain on the plane and will be properly disposed of by the airline under APHIS guidelines.

When I am traveling, how can I use FAVIR to determine whether small amounts of fruits and/or vegetables can be brought into the U.S.?

A traveler must declare all fresh fruits and vegetables to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer upon arrival into the United States. The CBP officer must confirm the product name and origin. Inadmissible articles will be seized, including those of questionable origin or use. Even if the article is listed in FAVIR as admissible, it is subject to inspection by CBP to ensure freedom from pests, diseases, and prohibited plant parts or contamination. Any article requiring treatment or other certification will not be allowed into the United States. Failure to declare all fruit, vegetable, or any other food products could subject the traveler to a fine of $300 to $1,000 U.S. dollars.




I am entering the United States from Canada. May I bring a packed lunch?

Yes; however, you must declare all food items (plant and animal origin), and they are subject to examination. U.S.-returned items are not allowed reentry unless they are in their original containers and the containers are intact and unopened. The entry status of animal-origin food items may be checked with APHIS's National Center for Import and Export (NCIE) at: AskNCIE.Products@usda.gov. Unmarked items, restricted items, and infested items are subject to seizure and possible destruction. 

I am traveling or returning to the U.S. from Mexico. May I bring a day's worth of fresh fruits, vegetables, or herbs with me across the border?

Regardless of the origin of the product, all travelers must declare all fresh fruits and vegetables to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer upon arrival into the United States. CBP must confirm the product name and origin. Even if the article is listed as admissible in FAVIR, it is subject to inspection by CBP to ensure freedom from pests, diseases, and prohibited plant parts or contamination. Any commodity requiring treatment or other certification will not be allowed into the United States

When I am traveling, can I use FAVIR to determine whether small amounts of fruits and/or vegetables can be brought into the US?
 
A traveler must declare all fresh fruits and vegetables to a Customs and Border Protection Officer upon arrival into the US and present them for inspection. FAVIR and the regulations are based on two things: commodity and origin. When FAVIR is searched, most commodities are allowed entry into the US only under commercial means or with Import Permits. A traveler will not meet these conditions, so cannot bring most items for personal use. Any commodity that requires a Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) would also be restricted. 
Even if the personal use item is listed as "Admissible from ALL countries" the Customs and Border Protection Officer must confirm the product name and inspect it for freedom from pests, diseases, and prohibited plant parts or contamination. The commodity could still be seized for failure to meet entry cleanliness requirements. You must declare all fresh fruits and vegetables on the Customs Declaration form and undergo a Customs Border Protection-Agriculture baggage inspection.  Failure to declare fruit or any other food product could be subject to a fine of $300 - $1,000.  Non-admissible items will be seized. 
The Customs and Border Protection Officer at the port of entry will make the final decision on admissibility.

General Questions
 

When will the APHIS-PPQ Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Manual no longer be available on line?

The Fruits and Vegetables Manual will remain on the Manual's Unit web site until an automatic back up system of FAVIR is available.

How do I link to the Code of Federal Regulations?


You may access the electronic Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at:
https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=54309fe1a615996cc6afb4fc989e0215&mc=true&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title07/7cfrv5_02.tpl#0

How can I fit all of the text on a page when I print?

From the menu bar in Internet Explorer, select "File" and then "Page Setup." From that point, adjust the left and right margins accordingly.
 

 


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