Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Canadian Produce Inspections Going Automated

(The Packer via CSCB)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection plan to establish standard inspection protocol for fresh produce crossing the entire northern border with Canada beginning February 1, but growers-shippers in Canada don’t think it will affect their exports.

“We don’t anticipate any delays,” said Melanie Richer, senior manager of marketing and communications for the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Ottawa, Ontario. “The change is to the risk management selection, which will now be computer-generated rather than manually by an officer.

“Before, officers at local ports would determine what was inspected,” said Erlinda Byrd, director of public affairs with the CBP. “It differed port to port. Now, we’re operating with more consistency port to port.”

The action results from a March 2007 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which lifted the inspection exemption for Canadian-grown fruits and vegetables. In 1991, APHIS began charging fees for commercial vessels, trucks, loaded railcars and international air passengers from all countries except Canada….