USDA denies Chilean deadline exception request

by | March 24, 2010
There will be no exception to U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service rules on Chilean fruit grade standards.

David Holzworth, general counsel for ASOEX, the Chilean Exporters' Association in Santiago, announced March 24 in a brief memo to the trade that "USDA has decided not to suspend Table Grape Import Regulation No. 4. However, other alternatives are still under consideration."

Chilean importing interests had requested the suspension on humanitarian grounds to help Chilean growers recover losses from the Feb. 27 earthquake.

Now, no exception will be made to a revised rule established in January 2009. This required that some varieties of Chilean grapes entering the United States after April 10 to meet higher grade standards. Prior to the change, the previous USDA marketing order quality standards deadline was April 20.