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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
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Irradiation Treatment

We designed this website to clarify the requirements for the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States using irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment.

For more information, you can find the general regulatory requirements for phytosanitary irradiation treatment of eligible commodities (i.e., fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, and foliage) in the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 7, Agriculture, Part 305, Phytosanitary Treatments, Subpart 9, Irradiation Treatment Requirements (7CFR 305.9).

  • APHIS must first approve the importation of the fresh fruit or vegetables into the United States.
  • To determine if a fresh fruit or vegetable is already eligible, go to APHIS’ Agricultural Commodity Import Requirements (ACIR) database. You can search by country/region or by the approved name of the fruit or vegetable.
  • If the fresh fruit or vegetable is not listed in ACIR from the country you wish to export from, then it does not currently have market access and must first be authorized through the commodity import process.
  • To begin this process, the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the exporting country must submit a formal request to APHIS.
  • If you would like to know more about this process, visit Commodity Import Request Process web page.

If the commodity is eligible for entry and does not require any treatment for importation, irradiation is not required, and you may apply for an import permit. If you have questions about the import permit process, please contact:

Permit Services
Telephone (301) 851-2046 or (877) 770-5990 (Toll-Free Automated System)
Fax (301) 734-5786

If the commodity is eligible for importation and requires a treatment other than irradiation, and you would like to request irradiation as an alternative to the current treatment, the NPPO of the exporting country where the commodity is produced must make a formal request to APHIS. Click here to access the International Plant Protection Convention’s list of NPPO contact points.

There are two options for importation:

Option 1: Irradiation conducted in the country of origin under an established APHIS preclearance program.

For information about preclearance irradiation programs, contact:

Shelah Morita
Assistant Director
Preclearance and Offshore Programs
Phone: 301-851-2094

Option 2:  Irradiation conducted in the United States at an APHIS-certified irradiation treatment facility.

For information about irradiation conducted in the United States at an APHIS-certified irradiation treatment facility, contact:

Laura Jeffers
National Operations Manager
Field Operations
Phone: 919-855-7455

Regardless of where the treatment is applied, APHIS and the exporting country’s NPPO must have the following bilaterally signed agreements prior to importation:

  • An irradiation framework equivalency work plan that allows for trade in irradiated commodities. 
  • An operational work plan with commodity-specific addenda which describe the in-country requirements for production, packing, phytosanitary inspection and certification, and safeguarding prior to export.

For information on irradiation policy or the status of a program, contact:

Shelah Morita
Assistant Director
Preclearance and Offshore Programs
Phone: 301-851-2094

After the required documents are completed, you may refer to the Steps for Importing Commodities for Irradiation Treatment in the United States Web page for information on planning importations.

Federal agencies other than APHIS have regulatory oversight on importations of food items into the United States. In advance of importation, contact the agencies below for additional information:

For more information concerning the approval process for facility certification contact:

Science and Technology
Treatment and Mitigation Technology (TMT)
Phone: 305-278-4877

If the irradiation treatment facility is located in a country other than the United States, the NPPO of the foreign country where the treatment facility is located must make an official request to APHIS. 

For a list of NPPO contact points, view the list on the International Plant Protection Organization website.

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