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How to Ship Dooryard Citrus From Florida

December 15, 2015

By law, only fruit processed in a commercial packinghouse can be shipped

USDA Certificate for Citrus Fruit Shipment

This USDA Certificate is required for citrus fruit Shipped from Florida.

One of the pleasures of having dooryard citrus is sharing that tangy, sweet fruit with friends and family. Shipping it out of state, though, is not as simple as picking, packing and toting it to a parcel service. To prevent the transfer of citrus diseases to other states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) have placed restrictions on out-of-state shipping from Florida.

A grapefruit displays symptoms of citrus greening

A grapefruit displays symptoms of citrus greening

You can ship your citrus if you first have it processed in a commercial packinghouse. Scientific studies have determined that citrus fruit processed in a commercial packinghouse under an APHIS compliance agreement is highly unlikely to spread these diseases. During the commercial packing process, fruit must be washed, brushed, disinfested, treated and waxed. It must be packed in shipping containers marked with a USDA-APHIS certificate and be free of leaves, stems or other regulated plant material. Fruit that cannot meet the waxed and treated conditions must be packed into shipping containers marked with a USDA-APHIS limited permit.  Citrus trees, leaves and other citrus plant parts continue to pose a high risk of spreading diseases and therefore cannot be moved to other states.

Here is a link to a list of packinghouses that have indicated willingness to pack home-grown citrus fruit under their APHIS compliance agreements during the 2015-2016 season. This list is subject to change.

If you have questions about shipping your citrus, call the FDACS Helpline, 1-888-397-1517.

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