The U.S. Department of Agriculture has pulled a proposal that would have required U.S. shippers of apples and grapes to electronically enter export certificate information into the U.S. Census Bureau’s Automated Export System.
The proposed rule also would have added a definition for shipper and shifted the inspection certificate’s file retention requirement from carriers to shippers.
The proposed rule was open for comment from Dec. 5 through April 24 this year. The Northwest Horticultural Council and other industry groups opposed the rule, stating that it would harm the apple industry’s ability to export fruit by creating less flexible conditions when using ocean vessels to export fruit.
“One large apple shipper estimates that 51% of its export shipments (worth tens of millions of dollars) would be prevented from being loaded on board ocean vessels due to the agency’s proposed requirements,” the council wrote in comments to the USDA.