APHIS: Melissa O'Dell (301) 734-5222
CBP: Erlinda Byrd (202) 344-1593
CANADA BEGIN JUNE 1
WASHINGTON, May 30, 2007--Beginning June 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will enforce inspection and user fee requirements for all commercial trucks and loaded railroad cars entering the United States from Canada.
In an interim rule published Aug. 25, 2006, APHIS announced that it would remove the inspection exemption for Canadian-grown fruits and vegetables and the user fee exemption for commercial vessels, trucks, railroad cars and aircraft, as well as international passengers entering the United States from Canada. Implementation of the new requirements and collection of user fees was staggered to allow affected industries time to prepare for the change. This marks the final phase of implementation.
On Jan. 1, 2007, air passengers arriving in the United States from Canada began paying user fees, which are now included in the cost of their plane tickets. Effective March 1, 2007, APHIS removed the inspection exemption for Canadian-grown fruits and vegetables as well as the user fee exemption for all commercial vessels and aircraft entering the United States from Canada. All inspections on the U.S.-Canada border are conducted by CBP. These inspections are necessary to further prevent the introduction of plant and animal pests and diseases into the United States via conventional pathways or through bioterrorism. Recent inspections along the U.S.-Canada border resulted in numerous interceptions of prohibited fruits and vegetables, originating from regions other than Canada. These products pose a risk of introducing plant pests into the United States. APHIS is also concerned about agricultural and other products originating in Canada that could serve as host material for pests and diseases if left uninspected.
The current agricultural quarantine and inspection (AQI) user fee amounts are as follows:
The user fee amount changes on October 1 of each year. For the most current fees, please visit User Fees.
The amended regulations will decrease the risk of pests and diseases entering the United States from Canada and will enable APHIS and CBP to recover their AQI costs through user fees and expand AQI activities along the U.S.-Canada border.
For more information, please visit the APHIS Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/index.shtml and, under “Hot issues” click on the link for Agriculture Inspection and User Fee.
Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS news release page at /lpa/newsroom. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive APHIS press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org and leave the subject blank. In the message, type subscribe press_releases.