Congressman Bill Owens (NY-23) introduced legislation today that would streamline U.S. apple exports to Canada by exempting bulk shipments of apples to Canada from inspection under the Apple Export Act.
“New York apple growers play a large role in the economic development and food security of our region, and this exemption will allow them to continue their contribution to New York’s economic recovery,” said Owens. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to ensure that the New York apple industry receives full support from Congress to remove this burdensome regulation.”
According to the New York Apple Association, the elimination of the required inspection would immediately offer a savings to growers of approximately $300 per truckload. Additionally, removing this regulation would allow apple growers to distribute their products on their own schedule without working around costly after-hours inspections procedures, providing them the opportunity to save money and streamline operations.
Last year, more than 1.5 million bushels of New York apples were exported to Canada. At about 1,000 bushels per truck and 1,500 trucks exporting apples to Canada annually, this amounts to a savings of about $450,000 for New York apple exporters.
“We applaud the hard work of Congressman Owens to offer legislation that will save New York apple growers hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Jim Allen, New York Apple Association President. “By removing this requirement, apple growers will save over $300 per load in unnecessary inspection fees. This is a great example of taking the lead to help reduce costs, paperwork, and useless mandates that only impede commerce for apple growers.”
H.R. 3914 would also improve efficiency within the inspection process. New York State is currently understaffed to perform required inspections of all apple exports. Exempting exports to Canada from the Apple Export Act would speed up this process for more than 500,000 bushels of apples that are exported from New York to countries other than Canada annually.
Currently, the Department of Agriculture requires the inspection of all apple exports under the Apple and Pear Export Act of 1933. In 1999, the law was changed to exclude pears.
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