If you have transborder clients, beware. The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) now requires the inspection of Canadian grown fruits and vegetables imported into the U.S. The final rule also removes the user fee exemption for certain commercial vessels, trucks, railroad cars and aircraft, as well as international airline passengers entering the U.S. from Canada.
APHIS data shows an increasing number of interceptions along the U.S.-Canadian border of prohibited fruits and vegetables from regions other than Canada. These products pose a high risk of introducing plant pests into the U.S., APHIS says. It is also concerned about commercial conveyances carrying nonagricultural products because the material holding the products— or even the conveyance itself— could serve as a host for pests and diseases if left unchecked.
“These inspections are necessary to further prevent the introduction of plant and animal pests and diseases into the United States via conventional pathways or through bioterrorism,” the agency says.
Agricultural quarantine inspection user fees are collected for both APHIS and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection for services provided. This can include preclearance or port-of-entry arrival of commercial vessels, trucks, loaded railroad cars and aircraft, as well as international passengers entering the U.S. from a foreign destination. These fees are the same for every country.