Imported Fruit and Vegetable Inspections Delayed

 - December 15, 2006, 11:26 AM

The effective date has been delayed to March 1 for the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis) interim rule that eliminates the exemption from inspections for fruits and vegetables imported from Canada and implements inspection fees for commercial aircraft (including on-demand charter aircraft) flying from Canada to the U.S. The rule was set to go into effect last Friday, November 24. “We are making these changes to allow additional time for affected entities to make necessary preparations to comply with the inspection and collection procedures that we will be instituting as a result of the interim rule,” Aphis officials said. Under the rules, commercial aircraft entering the U.S. from Canada are subject to a $70.25 inspection fee. There will also be a $5-per-passenger fee. Aphis justified the rule as required “to prevent the introduction of plant pests and animal diseases into the U.S. via conventional pathways or through bio-terrorism and to recover the cost of the needed inspections.”