USDA: Transcription of QA session from tomato web seminar - The Packer

USDA: Transcription of QA session from tomato web seminar

03/18/2013 03:45:00 PM
Tom Karst

It would be a violation of the Agreement. PACA would need to see all of the particulars, but it is a violation of the Agreement if they sell below the reference price.

What is the grace period for exhausting existing inventories of invoices that comply with the 2008 Agreement? Does the stamp with the new language apply on the existing invoices suffice?

That would work for purposes of the agreement, and there would be no issues for PACA as well.

Can a Canadian inspection report be used to determine if the tomatoes breach the Mexican Suspension Agreement?

No; it is a USDA inspection.

Are there any additional markings required for the retail units?

I can tell you only the markings the Agreement specifies have to be on the various boxes. So I am not sure beyond that. There is nothing else we would require for the Agreement.

Is a hydroponic boxed tomato and inserts considered a specialty?

If they are hydroponic then they fall under the controlled environment (if they are basic hydroponic round or romas, otherwise they would go). If they are grape or a cherry they would fall into the specialty category. The round and roma hydroponics are in the controlled environment category.

There is a question about a re-packer cost for distributor account versus the price of the sale if the distributor received a load of two layer 4x5 tomatoes but repacked the load into one layer 28-count tomatoes.

It is the first person who is selling the tomatoes that again is where the reference price applies. If the distributor is affiliated with the grower and is repacking them to make the first sale, then the reference price that applies is the one layer 28-count tomatoes. If they are sold to a re-packer in 25lb boxes, that is the first sale and what the re-packer does with them after that is not a party to the Agreement.

Does the Agreement require 100% of the Mexican growers and exporters to sign?

Will Customs stop a shipment from a non-signatory, or from a signatory but with a price lower than the reference price? As I said, U.S. law requires that we have 85% coverage. We have that. The Mexican government has put some measures in place to increase the signatory coverage. All we can do on this side of the border is we can say where U.S. law applies and that requires that we have at least 85%. U.S. Customs does not monitor the price; that is what Commerce does after the fact. U.S. Customs would not be stopping a shipment based on price.

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