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Irradiation Treatment

In order to meet U.S. entry requirements, certain fresh fruits and vegetables require the application of a quarantine treatment to mitigate pests that may pose a phytosanitary risk to US agriculture and natural resources. Irradiation is a viable option utilized for this purpose in some instances.

Click the links below for information to determine if an irradiation treatment is an option, and if applicable, the requirements to utilize irradiation treatments.

I want to use irradiation as a treatment to import a commodity. Where do I start?

Before a fresh fruit or vegetable becomes eligible for irradiation treatment into the U.S. it must first be approved for importation into the U.S. and listed in the Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements Database (FAVIR). If a commodity is not listed in FAVIR then it is not currently eligible for entry and must be approved for importation via the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) commodity import approval process. This process begins with a request from the Plant Protection Organization of the originating country. For more concerning the commodity import approval process, view the Commodity Import Request Process APHIS web page.

I checked FAVIR. The commodity is eligible for entry, but irradiation is not listed as an approved treatment. What do I do?

I checked FAVIR. The commodity is eligible for entry, but irradiation is not listed as an approved treatment. What do I do?
If the commodity is eligible for entry AND requires a treatment other than irradiation, and you propose to replace the current treatment with an irradiation treatment, please contact:

Paul Gadh
Telephone: (301-851-2018)
Email: Paul Gadh

If the commodity is eligible for entry AND DOES NOT require any treatment to satisfy import requirements, apply for an import permit. If you have questions about this process contact:

Permit Services
Telephone (301) 851-2046 or (877) 770-5990 (Toll-Free Automated System)
Fax (301) 734-4300
Email: Permits@aphis.usda.gov

 

I checked FAVIR. The commodity is eligible for entry, and irradiation is an approved treatment. What are my options?

I checked FAVIR. The commodity is eligible for entry, and irradiation is an approved treatment. What are my options?
If the commodity is eligible for entry AND irradiation treatment has been approved, then there are 2 options:

  • Option 1: Irradiation in the Country of Origin under an established APHIS preclearance program

For information concerning Preclearance Irradiation Programs contact: 

Vedpal Malik
Telephone: 301-851-2278 or
Email: Vedpal Malik

  • Option 2: Irradiation conducted domestically at a USDA APHIS-PPQ Certified Treatment Irradiation Facility in the United States


Regardless of whether treatment takes place in the country of origin or in the United States, APHIS requires a signedFramework Equivalency Agreement that allows for bilateral trade in irradiated commodities.  A bilaterally signed Operational Work Plan, with commodity specific Addenda, between APHIS and the Plant Protection Organization of the exporting country is also required.  For more information concerning these agreements contact directly the exporting country’s Plant Protection Organization utilizing this list of contacts at: https://www.ippc.int/countries/contactpoints/. If the Plant Protection Organization of the exporting country agrees, it will make the formal request to APHIS for domestic irradiation. 

Once all of the required agreements and documentation are prepared and operative, utilize the following guideline, Steps for Importing Commodities for Irradiation Treatment in the United States, to acquire the necessary PPQ documentation and to assist with planning importations.

 

Are there non-phytosanitary import requirements that I should be aware of?

Other Federal Agencies may have regulatory oversight on importations of food items into the United States.  Requirements for Prior Notice, packaging for food safety and any other tariff, duties or quotas may be available from the applicable agency.  Consider contacting the agencies below for additional information in advance of importation or product using irradiation:

 

I am interested in having an irradiation facility certified by APHIS to apply quarantine treatments for fresh fruits and vegetables. Where can I get more information?

I am interested in having an irradiation facility certified by APHIS to apply quarantine treatments for fresh fruits and vegetables. Where can I get more information?
For more information regarding the approval process for facility certification contact: 

Dr. Laura Jeffers
Telephone: (919) 855-7455
Email: Laura Jeffers

Or refer to the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 7, Agriculture, Part 305, Phytosanitary Treatments, Subpart 9, Irradiation Treatment Requirements (7CFR305.9).



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