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Fruit Shipping in The United States

By Sandy Sachs. September 2, 2010.

Fruit shipping within the United States of America is monitored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in collaboration with the United States Postal Service (USPS), and enforced by the Office of Agriculture Law Enforcement.  

Although fruit shipping is controlled primarily by the federal government, each state has their own laws for fruit shipping or shipping of herbs and vegetables as well. This is due to the different agricultural markets in each state. Many states worry about fruit shipping accidentally bringing diseases or pests from other states or even different countries that will contaminate local orchards and fruit production. This can potentially destroy crops and significantly hurt the local economy and or national economy if the disease or pest spreads quickly and wide spread. Therefore fruit shipping regulations are an essential addition to federal and state law. 

For example, Florida is one of the world’s largest producers of citrus fruits. There are dozens of fruit shipping laws in the state. The best location to find information about the regulation of fruit shipping in the state of Florida (they will give you information on both federal and state laws and procedures) is the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Not only does their website have a wealth of information, it is well organized and can assist you in understanding the basic laws and regulations as well as assist you in filling out the necessary paperwork to sell and ship your produce in the postal services to ensure you do so legally. To give you an idea of how extensively these laws go, there is even a law in the Crimes section for ‘Falsely Shipping Fruit or Oranges as Florida-grown’ to ensure that consumers across the country and around the world are getting the Florida fruit they are ordering. 

But what if you are just looking to send some of your own oranges and pomelos from you backyard to your daughter in university? Well, it is more complicated than that because fruit shipping laws do vary from state to stay. You will need to do some preliminary research in order to ensure that your package is legal. Fruit shipping within Florida would most likely be easier than fruit shipping to another state. Check out the USDA’s website or browse the web to see what the regulations are for both the sending and receiving states. If you cannot find the information that you need, you can always contact the USDA or USPS for more information or any of the plethora of other regulating agencies that work in collaboration of enforcement and monitoring of these state and federal laws. Your daughter may end up having to make a visit or having to go to the grocery store on her own. 

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