Effective today, CBP will increase their inspection on imported tomato and peeper fruit, seed lots, and transplants entering the United States. See the below and attached information for changes to the requirements for these shipments.
SUBJECT: Increase in Inspections for Shipments of Tomatoes and Peppers
Beginning November 22, 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will increase inspections on imported tomato and pepper fruit, seed lots, and transplants entering the United States (U.S.) at all ports of entry to prevent the introduction of Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV), and to protect the multi-billion dollar tomato and pepper industry in the U.S.
The increased inspections follow Federal Order DA-2019-28 issued by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) last week, which imposes restrictions on imports of seed and plant transplants of tomato and peppers from all countries, as well as additional restrictions on commercial consignments of tomato and pepper fruit imported from Mexico, Canada, Israel, and the Netherlands.
Also beginning November 22, each commercial shipment of tomatoes and pepper fruit, seed lots, and transplants imported from Mexico, Israel, Canada, or the Netherlands will be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with the appropriate additional declaration (AD):
- Requirements for shipments of tomatoes or peppers for propagation(plants for planting, seeds, grafts, obscured seed, and cuttings from ALL COUNTRIES: Each shipment must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with one of the following appropriate declarations:
o The Solanum lycopersicum and/or Capsicum spp. Plants for planting or seed originated from a country certified free from tomato brown rugose fruit virus, as established by the national plant protection organization of that country; OR
o A representative sample of the Solanum lycopersicum and/or Capsicum spp. plants for planting or seed lot has been officially tested and found free of tomato brown rugose virus
- Requirements for commercial shipments of fresh tomato and pepper fruit: commercial consignments may be imported into the United States from all countries.
o Commercial consignments from Mexico, Israel, and the Netherlands must be imported under an import permit and meet the additional applicable requirements for ToBRFV below.
o Commercial consignments from Canada are not required to be accompanied by an import permit, but must meet the additional applicable requirements for ToBRFV below.
o Commercial consignments from Canada, Mexico, Israel, and the Netherlands must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by a National Plant Protection Organization of the country of origin containing the following AD or be accompanied by an inspection certification documents as per the following:
- Additional declaration required on the phytosanitary certificate is as follows: “The Solanum lycopersicum and/or Capsicum spp. fruit have been inspected and found to be free of symptoms of tomato brown rugose fruit virus.” OR
- Accompanied by an inspection certification document issued by the grower or packer with the following language, in lieu of a phytosanitary certificate: “The Solanum lycopersicum and/or Capsicum spp. fruit have been inspected and been found free of symptoms of tomato brown rugose fruit virus.” The inspection certificate must include the date of the inspection, the name, title, office and address of the person issuing the inspection certificate, as well as the names and addresses of the grower and packing house.
Any consignment of fresh tomato and pepper fruit arriving at a port of entry without one of the documents above will be refused entry and be subject to re-export or destruction.
APHIS is also prohibiting the importation of tomato and pepper fruit in passenger baggage from all countries.