Northwest Horticultural Council
Population: 8,787,045 (July 2021 est.)
Official Language(s): Hebrew, Arabic
Please click on the above link for a list of chemical MRLs.
II. CHEMICALS AND ADDITIVE INFORMATION
A. Chemical residue standards:
Israel maintains a national MRL list, considering chemical residue standards established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission when setting maximum residue limits. Israel also defers to Codex MRLs for those particular pesticide/crop combinations for which an MRL is not established by the Israeli government.
B. Monitoring chemical residues:
Israel’s general MRL monitoring policy is to take one sample per consignment per export certificate. For example, if one container or consignment contains fruit from multiple sources (packers), multiple samples will be taken. However, if multiple containers of the same product are shipped from the same source, only one test will be conducted for the entire consignment. If more than one type of product (apples and pears) is in the same container, each product will be tested separately. In the case of past violations from a specific firm, all containers from that firm will be tested for at least one year.
C. Restrictions on use of waxes:
III. ORGANIC FRUIT REGULATIONS
Organic Standards Israel’s organic law follows European Union organic standards and requirements. Certification to the Israeli standard is not a requirement for importing organic food into Israel. However, if an importer would like to utilize the Israeli organic seal then specific information documenting that the product meets Israel’s requirements must be submitted to the Plant Protection and Inspection Service. Under the law, consumers can identify a uniform organic symbol on organic products as verification that the product was grown and produced according to the organic standard. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has appointed three private companies to oversee the production of organic foods. These firms include: Agrior, Skal Israel, and the Institute of Quality and Control (IQC). Israel’s organic standard can be found at Law for the Regulation of Organic Produce. The standard provides an efficient and recommended working tool for organic production designated for export as well as for the domestic market.
Israel has a specific duty that is charged on all U.S. out-of-quota apple and pear imports regardless of their CIF value.
The specific duty is 1.61 NS per kilogram for apples and 1.82 NS per kilogram for pears. Please see licenses and quotas section below.
V. NON-TARIFF BARRIERS
A. Labeling requirements:
Israel has strict marking and labeling requirements. Please consult with your importer on these requirements before shipping:
1. Country of origin.
2. Name and address of producer.
3. Name and address of importer.
5. Weight in metric units.
6. Hebrew must be used.
Kosher certification is not a legal requirement for importing food into Israel. However, any food marked with the word “kosher” shall also be marked with the name and location of the person or organization certifying that product is kosher.
B. Licenses and quotas:
Imports of U.S. apples and pears may enter duty-free under a tariff rate quota.
The TRQ is measured in metric tons and may be filled throughout the calendar year.
The current TRQ is: Apples – 4,000 MT
Pears – 1,364 MT
C. Currency Issues:
D. Pest and plant disease restrictions:
Apples and Pears: To export to Israel both a phytosanitary certificate (PC) and import permit (IP) are required. Phytosanitary inspection must occur within 30 days of exportation. All treatment facilities must be registered and will be assigned a TF number by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). TF numbers will be used for inspection purposes. (Contact the Northwest Horticultural Council for information about the TF number assignment.).
Fruit from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho must:
- Be free from quarantine pests including San Jose Scale (Quadraspidiotus perniciosus);
- Originate in a state free from Conotrachelus nenuphar (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington are free of Conotrachelus nenuphar;
- Originate in an area free from Rhagoletis pomonella. For apples, the production county must be named in the appropriate additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate.
Apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella)
For apples: If the fruit is not from an area free of apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella), then the shipment must undergo cold treatment either in a warehouse or in-transit (if the in-transit cold treatment option is utilized, shippers must use an APHIS-certified ocean container). The cold treatment must be one of the following:
- 0.0 degrees Celsius or below for no less than 40 days*
- 0.0 to 0.6 degrees Celsius or below for no less than 42 days*
- 2.2 degrees Celsius or below for no less than 55 days*
- 3.3 degrees Celsius or below for no less than 90 days*
* Maximum air temperatures can be exceeded during defrost cycles, lasting no more than 60 minutes and may occur up to 4 times per day. Temperatures must not exceed 12.7 degrees Celsius during this period.
Only air probes are required to measure the temperatures. A minimum of 3 probes are required. The cold treatment schedule applied should be stated on the phytosanitary certificate. All temperature data for cold treatment must be available for verification, and copies must be provided to USDA/APHIS upon request.
For pears: Pears must be produced in a pest free area or be cold treated (see apples above for cold treatment schedules), or meet firmness standards at time of phytosanitary inspection. (Pear firmness requirements are found on the import permit. Israel and APHIS agreed to pear firmness requirements February 22, 2021.
Israel maintains a zero-tolerance policy towards fruit intercepted with quarantine pests.
Additionally, as of September 2014, Israel published new phytosanitary import requirements of U.S. apples and pears, adding a requirement for visual inspection of the fruit, prior the shipment, for the following pests, which should be included in the phytosanitary certificate:
- Phacidiopycnis spp.
- Monilinia fructigena
- Neofabraea spp.
- Quadraspidiotus perniciosus
- Monilinia fructicola
When inspecting and certifying fruit, special attention should be focused on external feeders and pests such as mites, mealybugs, aphids and symptoms of disease (such as decay, especially bulls-eye rot).
Israel’s policy requires that infested shipments be re-exported. Fumigation is not official Israeli policy and when permitted has occurred only after significant intervention by the U.S. government resulting in long delays. Repackaging or reconditioning of fruit is also not an official Israeli policy and should not be considered a likely option.
Cherries: Import of U.S. sweet cherries is currently banned, citing risks from various plant pests and diseases. U.S. officials are working to resolve this issue.
E. Solid Wood Packing Material (SWPM) Regulations:
Please refer to the SWPM section of the NHC’s Technical Bulletins and Industry Advice.
In an effort to further facilitate trade between Israel and the United States, the two parties have agreed to reduce the paperwork burden necessary to take advantage of the tariff reductions in the United States – Israel Free Trade Agreement. Both sides removed the requirement for a Certificate of Origin for Exporting to Israel. The Certificate of Origin for Exporting to Israel is being replaced with an invoice declaration. A transition period allowing exporters to change their document requirements extends until March 31, 2018.
Under the updated provisions, the invoice declaration must state the following:
“I, the undersigned, hereby declare that unless otherwise indicated, the goods covered by this document fully comply with the rules of origin and the other provisions of the Agreement on the Establishment of the Free Trade Area between the Government of Israel and the Government of the United States of America.”
VI. MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES FOR PACIFIC NORTHWEST TREE FRUIT INDUSTRY:
Washington Apple Commission:
Arab Marketing & Finance Inc.
Pear Bureau Northwest:
VII. OTHER RESOURCE LINKS:
- The World Factbook (Central Intelligence Agency)
- Israel (U.S. Commercial Service/Department of Commerce)
- U.S. Embassy
VIII. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
In 1985, the U.S. and Israel signed a free trade agreement. Israel maintains that this agreement did not include agriculture products. Therefore in 1996 the U.S. and Israel signed an Agreement on Trade in Agricultural Products (ATAP). The ATAP, without any text, is a schedule of tariff rates and quotas negotiated by the two countries. The 1985 agreement remains the guiding document regulating matters like sanitary and phytosanitary safeguards and import restrictions on agriculture.
In 2004 the U.S. and Israel renegotiated the 1996 ATAP (it had expired in 2001). The 2004 ATAP expired in 2008 but has been renewed annually while negotiations over a new ATAP continue.