All grapes, except for exempt varieties specified below, are required to be inspected and certified as meeting the following minimum grade, size, and maturity requirements prior to importation. The cost of the inspection and certification is paid by the applicant. View the full regulation.
Grade, Size and Maturity Requirements – All regulated table grapes of the Vinifera species must meet these minimum grade, size, and maturity requirements from April 10 through July 10 each year.
At least U.S. No. 1 Table grade, or U.S. No. 1 Institutional, as set forth in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Table Grapes, or shall meet all the requirements of U.S. No. 1 Institutional with an additional tolerance percentage for bunch size. Such tolerance shall be 33 percent instead of 4 percent as is required to meet U.S. No 1 Institutional grade. Grapes meeting these quality requirements shall not be marked “Institutional Pack,” but may be marked “DGAC No. 1 Institutional.” In addition, U.S. No. 1 Table grade grapes may be packed in individual consumer packages containing 5 lbs. net weight or less: Provided, that not more than 20 percent of the weight of such containers may consist of single clusters weighing less than one-quarter pound, but with at least five berries each.
Perlette – Shall meet the grade and size requirements listed above, except that the minimum berry size shall be ten-sixteenths of an inch (1.59 cm).
Flame Seedless – Shall meet the grade and size requirements listed above, except that the minimum berry size shall be ten-sixteenths of an inch (1.59 cm), and maturity shall be as specified in the maturity column of this row. Flame seedless grapes are considered mature if the juice contains not less than 15% soluble solids that are equal to or in excess of 20 parts to every part acid contained in the juice.
Table Grape import requirements do not apply to the following varieties:
- Alphonse Lavelle
- Bien Donne
- Bonheur (Bonnoir)
- Christmas Rose
- Italia Pirovano (Blanca Italia)
- La Rochelle
- Waltham Cross
The Importer’s Exempt Commodity Form (SC-6) is used for table grapes diverted to commercial processing into juice products. Importers with varieties of table grapes not subject to inspection shall also file a SC-6.
The SC-6 exemption form must now be filed through the Compliance and Enforcement Management System (CEMS). The MOLS system previously utilized by AMS has been transitioned to CEMS. Visit Section 8e Exemptions – SC-6 Certificate for further information on the new CEMS and SC-6 Certificates. Also, visit Filing a SC-6 Certificate in CEMS for directions for registering for CEMS and instructions on filing a SC-6 Certificate.
Table grapes failing to meet the above import requirements may be: (1) exported; (2) disposed of under Federal or Federal-State Inspection Program supervision with the importer bearing the costs of certifying the disposal of such table grapes; (3) diverted to juice processing using the SC-6 form or; (4) reconditioned and re-inspected with failed portion disposed of under the procedures number (2) or (3) above.
Table grape importers should make arrangements for inspection and certification at least one day prior to entry at Port inspection offices, two days prior to entry at Regional offices, and three days prior to entry at the Washington Headquarters office.