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US Department of Agriculture

If you importing fruit, vegetable and specialty crops, you need visit USDA website at

This website is designed to assist importers of fruit, vegetable and specialty crops in complying with Section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (AMAA). Their goal is to help importers with their compliance efforts a problem arises, and to guide those who have imports not meeting the requirements to the proper disposition.

The Marketing Order Administration Branch's (MOAB) Compliance Team is part of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AgMS). They are responsible for monitoring imports of fruit, vegetable and specialty crops regulated by Section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937.

Section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 provides that when certain domestically produced commodities are regulated under a Federal marketing order, importers of the commodity MUST meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality and maturity requirements.

Currently, the following imported commodities are subject to Section 8e of the Act: avocados, dates, hazelnuts, grapefruit, table grapes, kiwifruit, limes, olives, onions, oranges, Irish potatoes, plums, prunes, raisins, tomatoes, and walnuts. Grading and quality inspection by the Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA is required for each lot (shipment) imported.

Section 8e quality requirements are intended to 1) develop dependable markets for products by ensuring consumer satisfaction and encouraging repeat purchases, 2) promote buyer satisfaction and increased sales for these commodities by ensuring that only acceptable quality products are in the U. S. marketplace, and 3) help avoid the market disruption associated with poor quality offerings. By making a quality product available to U. S. consumers, the agricultural industries in both countries benefit.

For some Section 8e commodities, much of the fireign production occurs in a growing season that is different from that in the United State; thus, foreign production complements U. S. production. However, imports of a commodity are regulated by Section 8e only during the period of time that the domestic commodity is also being shipped and regulated.

Any person who violates any provision of Section 8e or any regulation is subject to fines and/or penalties as follows.

  • A civil penalty of $1,000 per violation, each day the violation continues
  • Request for re-delivery by U. S. Customs Service and associated fines
  • Denied entry for future shipments
  • Civil forfeiture of the value of the Importer
  • Notification of other agencies with related regulations
  • A press release of the results of any violation to include the company's name and the incurred penalty.








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