In its April 2021 newsletter, the Texas International Produce Association reported a that a potential change in USDA inspections at the border could be in the offing.
The newsletter said, “As many know, a variety of fresh fruit and vegetable items that cross from Mexico into Texas require an 8e or USDA Inspection. During a recent visit, USDA found these inspections were not occurring at the ‘Brand’ level. At this time, USDA has signaled that Texas Cooperative Inspection Program must start breaking inspection lots into brands/markings and charging for this additional work by Oct. 1, 2021.” The newsletter continued, “TIPA has been in high level discussions with USDA on this matter and is awaiting more information from USDA’s legal counsel as we continue to challenge the decision.”
The Association also reported that Customs and Border Protection “continues to report high numbers of Wood Packing Violations (aka pallets and other wood materials not cleared for import into the USA),” and it said that the biggest issue is that CBP finds two stamps on the pallet instead of only one. It calls on produce importers and U.S. customs brokers to advise shippers in Mexico to inspect all wooden pallets prior to shipment for compliance with an attached image in the article, noting, “If there is more than one stamp, do not use the pallets. If the pallet has different or has no stamps, do not use the pallets. If the pallet was repaired on-site without treated wood, do not use the pallets.”