Potatoes
Appendix III – Summary of the U.S. Potato Import Regulations

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Application:
This section applies to all potatoes exported to the U.S. and Puerto Rico, not just Canadian grown potatoes. Even U.S. potatoes in original containers in Canada, re-exported to the U.S. must be recertified as meeting the U.S. Potato Import Regulations.
Exemptions:
Potatoes exported to the U.S. for processing, livestock feed, charity or relief purposes and shipped under the Importer's Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) are exempted from these Regulations and do not require a compulsory inspection.

Red-skinned round type potatoes (referred to as round reds) exported to the U.S. are exempted from U.S. minimum grade, size, quality and maturity requirements, in addition to being exempted from the U.S. inspection requirement. Although an inspection is not required to meet U.S. import requirements for quality, U.S. plant health requirements must be met at all times. In the absence of an inspection certificate for fresh fruit and vegetables, an attestation of phytosanitary status (i.e., a certificate of origin or a phytosanitary certificate) is required. Furthermore, the Importer's Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6) is not required for round reds destined for processing, livestock feed, charity or relief purposes in the U.S.

Maturity:
Since we are only required to meet U.S. Potato Import Regulations, the following skinning definitions must be applied:
  • Practically no skinning: means that not more than 5% of the potatoes in the lot have more than one-tenth of the skin missing or feathered;
  • Slightly skinned: means that not more than 10% of the potatoes in the lot have more than one-fourth of the skin missing or feathered;
  • Moderately skinned: means that not more than 10 of the potatoes in the lot have more than one-half of the skin missing or feathered; and
  • Badly skinned: means that more than 10% of the potatoes in the lot have more than one-half of the skin missing or feathered.
Cleanliness:
All varieties must meet the requirements of minimum cleanliness as required by the U.S. grade standard. U.S. No. 1 grade potatoes must be fairly clean, while U.S. No. 2 potatoes must not be seriously damaged by dirt. Fairly clean means that at least 90 percent of the potatoes in any lot are reasonably free from dirt or staining and not more than a slight amount of loose dirt or foreign matter is present in the container.
Size Markings:
Potatoes being shipped in packages marked Canada No. 1 that fail Canadian size requirements, but meet the U.S. import requirements for size, should be labelled to reflect the size of the potatoes packed within the containers (e.g., Canada No. 1, 2 inches and up). If the size range is not declared on the package adjacent to the Canada grade name, inspections performed in the United States will be based on the regular size requirements of the Canada grade declared and the potatoes may be held for misbranding.

A Canadian Inspection Certificate issued for potatoes exported to the United States is based on an equivalent Canadian grade for quality, but must meet U.S. import requirements for size and maturity.

Type of Potato Period Minimum Grade Minimum Maturity Minimum Diameter or Weight
Round Red Varieties (all flesh colours) Table Note 3 January 1 to December 31 No grade requirement No maturity requirement No size (diameter or weight) requirement
All Round Varieties, Other than Round Red Varieties January 1 to December 31 U.S. No. 2 or better August 1 to October 31 for U.S. No. 2 moderately skinned, and for other grades, slightly skinned. Thereafter, no maturity requirements. 2 inches (51 mm) (no maximum size); or

1 inch to 1 ¾ inches
(25 mm to 44 mm) if
U.S. CommercialTable Note 4 or better; or

Size "B"Table Note 5 (1 ½ inches to 2 ¼ inches) (38 mm to 57 mm) if U.S. CommercialTable Note 4 or better Table Note 6.

Long Type Varieties January 1 to December 31 U.S. No. 2 or better White Rose variety August 1 to December 31 moderately skinned.
Other varieties, slightly skinned.

Thereafter no maturity requirements.

2 inches (51 mm) or 4 ounces (113 g) provided that 40% of potatoes must be at least 5 ounces (142 g) or heavier (no maximum size); or

Creamers ¾ inch to 1 ⅝ inches (19 mm to 41 mm) if U.S. No. 1 or better; or

Size "B" (1 ½ inches to 2 ¼ inches) (38 mm to 57 mm) if U.S. No. 1 or better.Table Note 7

Table Notes

Table Note 3

Round red varieties (all flesh colours) are exempt from the U.S. minimum quality (i.e., grade, size and maturity) and inspection requirements.

Return to table note 3  referrer

Table note 4

U.S. Commercial grade is better than U.S. No. 2, but less than U.S. No. 1 grade. However since there is no equivalent Canadian grade, the next highest grade must be used which is Canada No. 1.

Return to table note 4  referrer

Table Note 5

Size "B" potatoes range in size from 38 mm to 57 mm (1 ½ inches to 2 ¼ inches) in diameter (round or long type). The term Size "B" must not be used in conjunction with a Canada grade name.

Return to table note 5  referrer

Table Note 6

Potatoes 38 mm to 57 mm (1 ½ inches to 2 ¼ inches) if Canada No. 1 Small Round would also meet the minimum diameter requirement for all round type potatoes other than red varieties.

Return to table note 6  referrer

Table Note 7

Potatoes 38 mm to 51 mm (1 ½ inches to 2 inches) if Canada No. 1 Small Long would also meet the minimum diameter requirement for long type varieties.

Return to table note 7  referrer

Note:

U.S. potato import requirements do not apply to quantities of potatoes of 500 lb or less. The entire shipment, including all potato types and package sizes, is considered in aggregate and must be less than 500 lb to be exempt from the provisions of the import requirements.

There are no size requirements for Canada No. 1 or U.S. No. 1 or better grade potatoes in containers of 3 lbs or less; however the lot of potatoes, excluding round red varieties, must be accompanied by an inspection certificate.

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