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Steps for Importing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Irradiation Treatment in the United States

Irradiating imported fruits and vegetables in the United States requires advanced planning, approvals, and paperwork. The following steps will help you navigate this process efficiently.

Step 1:  Review a Sample Importer Compliance Agreement 

An importer compliance agreement outlines the importer’s responsibilities and liability related to the importation and movement of untreated articles for irradiation in the United States. It includes requirements for transit of untreated articles from the port of entry to the APHIS-certified irradiation treatment facility. We recommend that you review a sample compliance agreement.   

Step 2:  Apply for Importer Compliance Agreement 

You must include a signed importer compliance agreement with your application for an APHIS PPQ import permit. To request an importer compliance agreement, you should contact:

Dr. Laura Jeffers
APHIS PPQ Field Operations
Email: Laura.A.Jeffers@aphis.usda.gov
Phone: (919) 855-7455

To prevent the escape of pests into the environment, articles intended for irradiation in the United States must arrive in approved insect-proof packaging.   

Step 3:  Contact an APHIS-Certified Irradiation Treatment Facility 

Next, contact an APHIS-certified irradiation treatment facility to make all necessary business arrangements for irradiation treatment services in advance of shipping. 

Step 4:  Apply for an APHIS PPQ Import Permit 

All importers must have a valid import permit. To obtain a permit, submit an application through e-Permits. The permit may include conditions for safeguarding a consignment if it must travel overland from the port of arrival to the APHIS-certified irradiation treatment facility. C

Remember that your application must include a copy of the signed importer compliance agreement. These permits may take up to 30 days to review and process. Keep in mind that the permit and compliance agreement are in effect ONLY when approved and used together. 

The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will work with APHIS to make the final determination on authorizing transit from the port of arrival to the APHIS-certified irradiation treatment facility. 

Step 5:  Begin Planning Logistics 

Importers should work with their suppliers and/or exporters in the product’s country of origin to ensure that they are meeting the requirements specified in bilaterally signed operational work plans and commodity-specific addenda. APHIS also recommends that importers and brokers contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection local port office at the product’s anticipated port of arrival to determine local port policies and requirements for safeguarding, transloading, and movement of untreated consignments.

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