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Q: wild mushrooms ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: wild mushrooms
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: vlad-ga
List Price: $12.00
Posted: 25 Jan 2003 23:23 PST
Expires: 24 Feb 2003 23:23 PST
Question ID: 148642
Hi All,

I am looking for information regarding the importation of wild

Specifically, what are the USDA/FDA?/Customs guidelines and
regulations regarding packaging and labeling requirements for
wholesale and retail?


Request for Question Clarification by byrd-ga on 26 Jan 2003 13:10 PST
Hi Vlad,

The U.S. Government isn’t usually  noted for its brevity in explaining
rules and requirements for anything, and the importation of mushrooms
is no exception. There are voluminous regulations, rules, and
documents to peruse, from many government agencies.  It’s enough to
make your head spin.  And there is no way to concisely summariae all
the labeling requirements of all these government agencies.  If you’d
like to break these down into separate questions, priced accordingly,
a Researcher may be willing to tackle each aspect separately. 
However, if you prefer, I can provide you with a good, systematic way
to go about finding the information you need, with an overview of
importing and labeling requirements, with all necessary supporting
links.  Would this be acceptable to you as an answer?  If so, please
let me know and I will post the information I have available.


Clarification of Question by vlad-ga on 26 Jan 2003 14:15 PST
>However, if you prefer, I can provide you with a good, systematic way
>to go about finding the information you need, with an overview of
>importing and labeling requirements, with all necessary supporting
>links.  Would this be acceptable to you as an answer?  If so, please
>let me know and I will post the information I have available.
This is what I am looking for --- however, two or three general links
does not an answer make.

Subject: Re: wild mushrooms
Answered By: byrd-ga on 26 Jan 2003 14:52 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Vlad,

Thank you for your clarification. I think I can be of some help to

To begin, the U.S. Customs Department has issued summaries of official
guidelines on importation of goods to assist importers in identifying
and interpreting the various laws applying to their particular area of
interest.  These summaries are called “Informed Compliance
Publications,” and are available for download from the U.S. Customs

Reading this publication is probably the best place to start, and you
can find the most current one pertaining to mushrooms here:
 (The main U.S. Customs website is here: .)

Note that this publication does not distinguish between cultivated or
wild mushrooms, nor does there appear to be any such distinction in
any of the other references to mushroom imporation.  Rather, mushrooms
are CLASSIFIED according to their state at the time of importation,
i.e. fresh, preserved, dried, etc. and importers are required to
adhere to the Harmonized Tarriff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)
for classification.  The portion applicable to mushrooms is excerpted
within the above publication.  The entire text of the HSUS can be
found here:

In addition to proper classification, “all imported articles must be
MARKED in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as
the nature of the articles (or container) in such manner as to
indicate to an ultimate consumer in the United States, the English
name of the country of origin of the article.” (U.S. Customs Informed
Compliance Publication – Mushrooms, 10/96 rev. 03/01)  This marking
regulation makes it clear that the country of origin must be clearly
marked so that the “ultimate consumer,” i.e. the retail customer, is
made aware of the origin of the product.   This would also include
goods sold to a wholesaler who is then, in turn, responsible for
ensuring the marking remains legible to the retail customer.

A detailed DESCRIPTION of the product must be included on all
invoices, including such information as state (fresh, frozen, dried,
etc.), genus, species, form (whole, buttons, sliced, etc.), type of
packing, country of origin, etc.

And there is a mushroom import assessment FEE that will need to be

These are only the major topics covered within the publication.  You
will need to familiarize yourself with it, with the HTSUS, and with
the portion of the Code of Federal Regulations applying to import law
and specifically mushrooms.  In addition, as indicated in your
question, you’re already aware that dealing with any foodstuffs also
comes under applicable portions of other laws and government agencies,
particularly the USDA and the FDA.  To access the entire (searchable)
CFR, check out this link: .  The
most applicable portions for your needs are

Title 7 (7CFR) Agriculture: 
Title 19 (19CFR) Customs Duties:
Title 21 Food and Drugs 
  -Labeling requirements in 21CFR 101   
Also, the The FDA has published a Food Labeling Guide@ to answers
questions on the NL&A requirements, copies may be obtained from:
The Division of Programs and Enforcement Policy (HFS-155)

Office of Food Labeling, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration
200 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20204
Telephone: (202) 205-5229

In addition, the website for The Federal Register, which is the
official daily publication for current news and updates is here:  It will,
of course, be essential for you to keep up with all current
changes/additions to the laws governing your particular area of
interest.  For all documents online, you can use the “Edit,” “Find”
feature of your browser to search the text of these voluminous laws
for portions applicable to mushrooms in particular, as well as to
labeling and packing in general.

Here are links to the other government agencies involved in regulating
foods, including imported foods, in the US:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Main site:
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service:
FAS Import Programs and information: 
**** Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards Report
(FAIRS) of the United States of America:  **** This report contains
much detailed information.  Be sure to read it thoroughly.

United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)
Main site: 
FDA website search results for “wild mushrooms:”

And finally, here are some general links to sites about the mushroom
industry in general, with some additional links to further information
you may find useful:

The Mushroom Council
Establishment of:

Handling of wild mushrooms, with further links:

Obviously, there are many laws and regulations, to be sure, and
requirements, and publications, and information and documents online
and off governing the importing of mushrooms.  Still, once you’ve
identified the specific procedure for your particular activity,
hopefully you should be able to proceed smoothly.  I wish you the best
of luck in your importing business.

I hope this information is satisfactory.  If you need clarification on
any of the information presented here, or if there were particular
links you expectec but did not receive, please do ask before rating
and closing the question, so that I might have the opportunity to be
sure you’re satisfied with your answer.

Best regards and good luck with your business,

Search terms used:
“importing into the United States” wild mushrooms
U.S. Customs "informed compliance publications" online mushrooms
U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
“Harmonized Tariff Schedule”
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