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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements (FAVIR)
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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 send an email inquiry to PPQ.FAVIR.Comments@aphis.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 send an email inquiry to PPQ.FAVIR.Comments@aphis.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, we will update the database 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 send an email inquiry to PPQ.FAVIR.Comments@aphis.usda.gov 

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

 We will include treatment instructions within the conditions of the approved permit.

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

You can locate the name of the fruit or vegetable by clicking on “Search with Menus” from the home page.  Under “Commodity”, you can use the drop down menu to locate the common name of the fruit or the scientific name of the fruit or vegetable.

 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 inadmissible. 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 that eliminates 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?

 An area that meets the requirements in Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR) 319.56-5 for a “pest-free area” You may access the electronic CFR at http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=%2Findex.tpl 

 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 of the country of export must submit information to APHIS in accordance with 7 CFR 319.5.  This section of the 7 CFR can be accessed electronically at  http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=%2Findex.tpl 

Treatment

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

The “T” stands for treatment. 

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

Check this list of approved treatment facilities in the U.S. 

What commodities can I treat using irradiation?

Irradiation (IR) is an approved treatment for all imported fruits and vegetables and for fruits and vegetables moved interstate from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, IR can be used against particular pests of cut flowers and foliage, however some damage may occur. Use of IR on a particular fruit or vegetable is listed as a treatment option only after the commodity is approved through regulation and all other arrangements (signing of the required agreements by the exporting country, certification of the IR facility, verification of proper safeguarding during transportation) have been made according to APHIS protocols.

ePermits and Permits

How do I access ePermits?

To access ePermits, and submit an electronic permit application (PPQ 587) to import fruits & vegetables, you must have a level 2 eAuthenication account. USDA agencies use the eAuthentication registration process to enable customers to access secure USDA web applications and services. When applying for a level 2 eAuthenication account, you will choose a user ID and password and answer security questions. Once the level 2 account is obtained, you will use the user ID and password to login to ePermits. For more information about eAuthenication, or to apply for a level 2 eAuthenication account, visit  http://www.aphis.usda.gov/permits/eauth_epermits.shtml

Future plans are to add a link to ePermits from the Q56 fruits and vegetables database. 

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 that your permit(s) specify all import requirements for all the commodities you wish to import and that the permit(s) have not expired. 

D
o 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 haven't already been e-Authenicated you need to register and re-apply 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: Telephone 1-301-851-2046 or 1-877-770-5990 (Toll-Free Automated System); Fax (301) 734-4300; Email: Permits@aphis.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 is (1) related to the consignment, (2) issued by an official of a foreign national plant protection organization in one of the five official languages of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, (3) addressed to the plant protection service of the United States, (4) describes the consignment, (5) certifies that 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 specific to the commodity/country.

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

How do I obtain a list of approved Customs Brokers?

For a list of Customs Brokers, go to: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/ports/ . Then, click on the appropriate State, followed by the specific port link. Then click on "View List" under "Brokers".

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.  Check with the port by logging into the CBP.gov website.  Select the arrival port from the list found at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/ports/.

 

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 U.S. The CBP Officer must confirm the product name and origin. Non-admissible items will be seized, including those of questionable origin or use. Traveler's returning from overseas likely cannot meet this standard, so should not carry fresh fruits and vegetables for personal use. Even if the article is admissible per FAVIR, CBP requires inspection for freedom from pests, diseases, and prohibited plant parts or contamination. Any commodity that requires treatment or other certification will not be allowed into the U.S. Failure to declare all fruit or any other food products could subject the traveler to a fine of $300 to $1,000 US 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.  All fresh fruits and vegetables must have proof of country of origin issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. U.S. returned items are not allowed re-entry 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' National Center for Import and Export at: AskNCIE.Products@aphis.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 U.S. CBP must confirm the product name and origin. Even if the article is admissible per FAVIR, CBP requires inspection for freedom from pests, diseases, and prohibited plant parts or contamination. Any commodity that requires treatment or other certification will not be allowed into the U.S. If you are a traveler along the U.S. southern border states, refer to the USDA APHIS Landborder Factsheet.

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 at:
http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?sid=2fb24cc19ac9d317f4fc7fc77835e84c&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title07/7cfrv5_02.tpl


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

In Internet Explorer, from the Menu bar, go to "File" and select "Page Setup". From that point, adjust the left and right margins accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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