USA Food Imports: Fruit

To have fresh fruits all year around is something wonderful. However, since fruits grow seasonally, it isn’t always possible to pick them fresh off a tree in the one location throughout the whole year. Thankfully, with transport made more and more easy, importing fruits from around the world to the USA is a real possibility.

Before you embark on a mission to get mangoes from India or pomegranates from Morocco, it is important to understand how importing foods work. It isn’t as easy as getting someone to send a bag of lemons over through registered post!

Importing fruit to the USA is thoroughly regulated and has standards that need to be met. These are in place for reasons of quality control as well as safety standards. There are many steps that should not be missed when importing fruit to the USA.

How to Import Fruit to the USA

To make sure that your fruit import venture is a success, adhere to the correct rules and procedures to avoid any mishaps. First of all, permits are required to bring in any plant product to the USA. Fruits are considered a plant product in this context. Furthermore, this permit can be applicable to both fresh and frozen fruits.

Before you apply for a permit, you must determine whether or not the fruit is allowed to enter the United States. This can be done online through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). There is a drop-down list available where you can select the country you wish to import from, and it will provide information whether or not this is a permitted country.

Once you are sure that your desired fruit product is eligible for import, you need to have all the paperwork in order. You should allow up to 30 days for the permit request to be processed. Factoring this into your shipping timeframe is crucial. Once you have the permit, you do not need to apply for a new one for each import. However, you need to make sure that each import thereafter complies with the regulations. Make sure you have a copy of your permit for each shipment that takes place.

Depending on the conditions of your permit, there may be treatment required for the fruit after import has taken place. The USDA will outline this upon permit approval. You should factor in extra days for treatment into the estimated arrival date for your shipment. It is always better to allow extra days for the import to go successfully, rather than ending up with time pressure restrictions.

Importing fruit into the USA isn’t a complex procedure, but it is one that needs to be followed correctly. If you do everything right and do adequate research as to what fruits can be imported, you ought to be fine. Allowing plenty of time for the permit to be processed before ordering shipments and factoring in extra time for treatment of the fruit once it reaches the border will help to reduce stress in this process.