Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Exemptions to APHIS Inspection Fees on Imports from Canada

(World Trade Interactive)

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is adopting as a final rule, with changes, an August 2006 interim rule that removed the exemptions from inspection for imported fruits and vegetables grown in Canada and the exemptions from user fees for commercial vessels, trucks, railroad cars and aircraft, as well as international air passengers, entering the U.S. from Canada. As a result of that rule, all agricultural products imported from Canada are subject to inspection and all commercial conveyances arriving from Canada are subject to user fees.

New Exemptions:

This final rule establishes new user fee exemptions for the following.

• commercial railroad cars that are part of a train that originates and terminates in Canada and no passengers board or disembark and no cargo is loaded or unloaded while the train is in the U.S.

• vessels that travel to Canada only to refuel, upon their return to the U.S.

• barges (i.e., non-self-propelled vessels transporting cargo that is not contained in shipping containers) traveling solely between the U.S. and Canada that carry bulk cargo that originates only in the U.S. or Canada, do not carry any plants or plant products or animals or animal products, and do not carry soil or quarry products from areas in Canada listed as being infested with gypsy moth

Exemptions Denied:

APHIS is not providing a user fee exemption for members of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. “C-TPAT does not have an agricultural component that specifically addresses sanitary or phytosanitary risks,” APHIS states, and “C-TPAT members’ shipments are subject to agricultural inspection regardless of the reduced inspection benefits granted by membership in the program.”

APHIS has also declined to provide an exemption for trucks that originate and terminate in the U.S. and do not load or unload cargo in Canada or that originate and terminate in Canada and do not load or unload cargo in the U.S. Unlike railroad cars, APHIS states, trucks are not bound to a fixed track where stops and loading or unloading may only feasibly occur at designated stations.

Read more and view the source document here.