7 CFR 987.112a - Grade, size, and container requirements for each outlet category.
(a) In lieu of the minimum standards prescribed in § 987.39, the following standards are prescribed as the minimum grades and sizes for marketable dates to be handled in the applicable outlets. These standards shall continue in effect irrespective of whether the season average price to producers for dates is or is not in excess of the parity level specified in section 2(1) of the act.
(2) DAC dates of any variety shall at least meet the requirements of U.S. Grade B, except that up to 25 percent, by weight, of the dates may possess semi-dry of dry calyx ends, but not more than 5 percent, by weight, of the dates may possess dry calyx ends. Also, with respect to whole dates of the Deglet Noor variety, the individual dates in the sample from the lot shall weigh at least 6.5 grams, but up to 10 percent, by weight, may weigh less than 6.5 grams, except beginning February 21, 1997, and ending October 31, 1997, the 10 percent tolerance shall be increased to 15 percent. These size requirements are in addition to, and do not supersede, the requirements as to uniformity of size prescribed in the grade standards.
(3) DAC dates of any variety, when packed in plastic containers, other than bags and master shipping containers, shall contain a net weight (i) for whole dates, of either eight ounces, twelve ounces, 1 pound 8 ounces, or two pounds or more, and (ii) for pitted dates, of either seven ounces, ten ounces, one pound, one pound eight ounces, or two pounds or more. DAC dates packed in other than plastic containers may be handled without regard to the net weight content. For the purpose of this subparagraph, plastic container means any containers of any shape made from plastic and in which dates are packed without the use of cardboard boats, trays, or other like stiffening material: Provided, That DAC dates shipped for sale in Canada in plastic containers are exempt from the net weight requirements of this subparagraph.
(4) The California Date Administrative Committee may designate with the approval of the Secretary such other types and sizes of containers for testing in connection with a research project conducted by or in cooperation with the Committee. The time period and the quantity of dates which may be marketed by handlers during that period shall be designated by the Committee for each market research project. The handling of each lot of dates in such test containers shall be subject to the prior approval, and under the supervision, of the Committee.
(c)Dates for further processing.
(1) Except as provided in § 987.152(b)(1), all varieties of FP dates may be disposed of only (i) to persons in the United States capable of processing and packing the dates and having them certified as DAC dates, or (ii) exported to the countries designated in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.
(2) FP dates of any variety shall at least meet the requirements of U.S. Grade B (dry). Also, with respect to whole dates of the Deglet Noor variety, the individual dates in the sample from the lot shall weigh at least 6.5 grams, but up to 10 percent, by weight, may weigh less than 6.5 grams, except beginning February 21, 1997, and ending October 31, 1997, the 10 percent tolerance shall be increased to 15 percent. These size requirements are in addition to, and do not supersede, the requirements as to uniformity of size prescribed in the grade standards.
(1) Dates of any variety identified as “Export” dates and inspected and certified as meeting the requirements of this subparagraph may only be exported to any country except Canada. Such dates shall at least meet the requirements of U.S. Grade C: Provided, That Deglet Noor dates shall score not less than 31 points for character and 24 points for absence of defects but up to 40 percent, by weight, of the dates may be damaged by broken skin.
(2)Export of dry dates. Dates of any variety identified and certified as meeting the requirements of this subparagraph only may be exported to the following designated date producing and processing countries in North Africa: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, 1 Egypt, and Sudan; the following date processing and consuming countries north of the Mediterranean Sea: Spain, France, Belgium, West Germany, Italy, France, Greece, and the Netherlands; and the following date processing and consuming country in Asia: Japan. Such dates shall at least meet U.S. Grade C (dry) except for defects removable by washing: Provided, That Deglet Noor dates shall score not less than 31 points for character and 24 points for absence of defects but up to 40 percent, by weight, of the dates may be damaged by broken skin.
1 Executive Order 12543 of January 7, 1986 ( 51 FR 875), prohibits trade and certain transactions involving Libya, and is applicable to exports of dates under this marketing order as long as the executive order is in effect. That order, among other things, prohibits the exports to Libya of any goods, technology (including technical data or other information) or services from the United States, except publications and donations of articles intended to relieve human suffering, such as food, clothing, medicine and medical supplies intended strictly for medical purposes.
(3) Dates of any variety identified as “Export - Mexico” and inspected and certified as at least meeting the requirements of U.S. Grade C may be exported only to Mexico. No dates shall be exported to Mexico unless the handler certifies to the Committee and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on CDAC Form No. 11(a), which shall be submitted to the Committee, that the importing buyer has agreed that such dates will not reenter the United States or be shipped to Canada. The form shall show the identity of the handler, the trucker, the importer, the destination of the dates, the location of the border-crossing station, and such other information as the Committee deems appropriate to perform its duties and excercise its powers under this part.
(4) Whenever field-run dates of any variety are authorized for export to any country, each lot shall consist of at least 85 percent, by weight, of sound dates. Sound dates means individual dates which are at least U.S. Grade C in character and are free of the defects - other than those removable by washing - scored to determine the point requirement applicable to their intended destination.
(1) Dates of any variety identified as “Product” dates and inspected and certified as at least meeting the requirements of this paragraph may be disposed of by handlers for use or used by them in the production of table syrup, rings, chunks, pieces, butter, paste, and macerated dates or other products approved by the Committee. If the handler does not use the dates in products, he may sell them to: (i) Other handlers within the area of production for conversion into products, or (ii) to date product manufacturers approved by the Committee regardless of their location. Once the dates have been converted from their whole or pitted form, they may be shipped to any market in the United States, Canada, or foreign country.
(2) Product dates of any variety and identified as “Product” shall meet the requirements of U.S. Grade C, except that mashing and mechanical injury not affecting eating quality shall not be considered in determining the defect factor.
(f)Change of outlet. A handler may change the outlet category for any lot of dates: Provided, That prior to such change, the handler files a completed CDAC Form No. 1(a) and a new inspection certificate with the Committee. If the grade and size requirements of the new outlet category are the same as or less than the requirements of the outlet category previously intended, only a condition inspection is required. If the grade and size requirements of the new outlet category are greater, a complete inspection is required. The handler shall change the marking on the containers to conform with the identification requirements prescribed in § 987.112 for the new outlet.
(g)Deteriorated dates. Any marketable dates which deteriorated in quality so that they are either utility or cull dates may be disposed of only in the applicable outlets for such dates or they may be reconditioned and upon reconditioning, the modified lot may be reinspected and recertified, as applicable.