October 6, 2016

Continued Pesticide Maximum Residue Level (MRL) Violations Jeopardize Export Sales

Japan has notified the United States’ government that a recent export shipment of celery to Japan was found to exceed Japan’s MRL tolerance resulting in a cited violation. Since this is the second time such a violation has been detected on celery within the last few months, Japan has now instituted an intensified inspection program.

This means that regardless of the individual shipper or grower, all U.S. shipments of celery will be exposed to pronounced examination and testing for pesticide residue levels. This stringent inspection procedure will remain in place for all celery shipments for a period of one year until 300 U.S. shipments of celery have been cleared through Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare without a violation.  If less than 300 shipments occur during the one year period, then the increased inspection procedure will remain in force for a period of two years.

Western Growers cannot overemphasize that both exporters and growers must adhere to a strict regimen that includes reviewing spray records on any selected export crop to ensure it will not exceed Japan’s MRL. It is imperative for both exporter and grower to exchange information, identifying all compounds applied on the specific designated export lot, and compare the U.S. MRLs to the MRLs established in Japan. Members can review the Global MRL Database by accessing WGs’ International Trade Assistance Page.

Western Growers has identified the steps members need to follow in preparing a shipment for export. Members need to apply these steps regardless of the foreign market destination.

As an individual exporter, you cannot leave to chance that your shipment will arrive within the limits of the importing country’s MRL simply because it meets the U.S. MRL. An MRL violation does not only impact your company, as indicated in this notification, it can jeopardize the entire industry.

If you have any questions, need additional information or assistance, please contact Ken Gilliland at (949) 885-2267.