7 CFR § 999.300 - Regulation governing importation of raisins.

§ 999.300 Regulation governing importation of raisins.

(a) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

(1) Raisins means grapes from which a part of the natural moisture has been removed.

(2) Varietal type means the applicable one of the following: Thompson Seedless raisins, Muscat raisins, Layer Muscat raisins, Currant raisins, Monukka raisins, Other Seedless raisins, Golden Seedless raisins, and Other Seedless-Sulfured raisins.

(3) Thompson Seedless Raisins includes those raisins commonly referred to in international trade as Sultana raisins and means raisins made from Thompson Seedless (Sultana) grapes and from grapes with characteristics similar to Thompson Seedless (Sultanina) grapes.

(4) Person means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other business unit.

(5) USDA inspector means an inspector of the Specialty Crops Inspection Division, Specialty Crops Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, or any other duly authorized employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

(6) Importation of raisins means the release of raisins from custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

(b) Grade and size requirements. The importation of raisins into the United States is prohibited unless the raisins are inspected and certified as provided in this section. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, no person may import raisins into the United States unless such raisins have been inspected and certified by a USDA inspector as to whether or not the raisins are of a varietal type, and if a varietal type, as at least meeting the following applicable grade and size requirements, which requirements are the same as those imposed upon domestic raisins handled pursuant to Order No. 989, as amended (part 989 of this chapter):

(1) With respect to Thompson Seedless and Other Seedless-Sulfured raisins—the requirements of U.S. Grade C as defined in the effective United States Standards of Grades of Processed Raisins (§§ 52.1841 through 52.1858 of this title): Provided, That, at least 70 percent, by weight, of the raisins shall be well-matured or reasonably well-matured. With respect to select-sized and mixed-sized lots, the raisins shall at least meet the U.S. Grade B tolerances for pieces of stem and undeveloped and substandard raisins, and small sized raisins shall meet the U.S. Grade C tolerances for those factors;

(2) With respect to Muscat raisins—the requirements of U.S. Grade C as defined in said standards;

(3) With respect to Layer Muscat raisins—the requirements of U.S. Grade B as defined for “Layer or Cluster Raisins with Seeds” in said standards, except for the provisions therein relating to moisture content;

(4) With respect to Currant raisins—the requirements of U.S. Grade B as defined in said standards;

(5) With respect to Monukka and Other Seedless raisins—the requirements for Thompson Seedless Raisins prescribed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, except that the tolerance for moisture shall be 19 percent rather than 18 percent;

(6) With respect to Golden Seedless raisins—the requirements prescribed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section for Thompson Seedless raisins and the color requirements for “colored” as defined in said standards.

(c) Inspection and certification requirements.

(1) All inspections and certifications required by paragraph (b) of this section shall be made by USDA inspectors in accordance with the regulations governing inspection and certification of processed fruits and vegetables, processed products thereof, and certain other processed food products (part 52 of this title). The cost of each such inspection and certification shall be borne by the applicant.

(2) Each lot of raisins inspected in accordance with paragraph (c)(1) of this section shall be covered by an inspection certificate. Each such certificate shall set forth, among other things, the following:

(i) The date and place of inspection;

(ii) The name of the applicant;

(iii) The name of the importer;

(iv) The Customs entry number pertaining to the lot or shipment covered by the certificate;

(v) The quantity and identifying marks of the lot inspected;

(vi) The statement, as applicable, “Meets U.S. import requirements under section 8e of the AMA Act of 1937” or “Fails to meet U.S. import requirements under section 8e of the AMA Act of 1937”; and

(vii) If the lot fails to meet the import requirements, a statement of the reasons therefor.

(3) Whenever raisins are offered for inspection, the applicant shall furnish any labor and pay any costs incurred in moving and opening containers as may be necessary for proper sampling and inspection. The applicant shall also furnish the USDA inspector the entry number and such other identifying information for each lot as the inspector may request.

(d) Reconditioning. Nothing contained in this section shall preclude the reconditioning of failing lots of raisins prior to importation of raisins in order that such raisins may be made eligible to meet the applicable grade and size requirements in paragraph (b) of this section.

(e) Exemptions.

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any lot of raisins which in the aggregate does not exceed 100 pounds, net weight, may be imported without regard to the restrictions of this section.

(2) Any lot of raisins which does not meet the applicable grade and size requirements of paragraph (b) of this section may be imported for use in the production of alcohol, syrup for industrial use, or any lot of raisins which does not meet such requirements with respect to mechanical damage or sugaring may be imported for use in the production of raisin paste, but all such raisins shall be subject to the safeguard provisions contained in § 999.500.

(f) Books and records. Each person subject to this section shall maintain true and complete records of his transactions with respect to imported raisins. Such records shall be retained for not less than 2 years subsequent to the calendar year of importation. The Secretary, through his duly authorized representatives, shall have access to any such person's premises during regular business hours and shall be permitted at any such time to inspect such records and any imported raisins held by such person.

(g) Other restriction. The provisions of this section do not supersede any restrictions or prohibitions on the importation of raisins under the Federal Plant Quarantine Act of 1912, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, or any other applicable laws or regulations, or the need to comply with applicable food and sanitary regulations of city, county, State, or Federal agencies.

(h) Compliance. Any person violating any of the provisions of this regulation is subject to a forfeiture in the amount prescribed in section 8a(5) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (sections 1-19, 48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601-674), or, upon conviction, a penalty in the amount prescribed in section 8c(14) of said act, or to both such forfeiture and penalty. False representation to an agency of the United States in any matter within its jurisdiction, knowing it to be false, is a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001 which provides for a fine or imprisonment or both.

[37 FR 5282, Mar. 14, 1972, as amended at 37 FR 13635, July 12, 1972; 37 FR 23820, Nov. 9, 1972; 41 FR 52646, Dec. 1, 1976; 43 FR 47972, Oct. 18, 1978; 43 FR 57863, Dec. 11, 1978; 45 FR 65513, Oct. 3, 1980; 47 FR 51731, Nov. 17, 1982; 50 FR 45808, Nov. 4, 1985; 53 FR 34715, Sept. 8, 1988; 67 FR 57505, Sept. 11, 2002; 74 FR 2809, Jan. 16, 2009; 80 FR 15678, Mar. 25, 2015; 81 FR 84403, Nov. 23, 2016; 85 FR 12296, Mar. 6, 2020; 88 FR 82237, Nov. 24, 2023]