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August 16, 2019
Julia Hecht

Shipping Vegetables from Mexico to USA

Shipping vegetables from Mexico to the USA is a huge endeavor, and it continues to get more profitable. The USA is the largest importer of Mexican produce, since it relies on the warm Mexican climate to make many different vegetables available all year long. In fact, 60% of all Mexican agricultural exports go to the United States

NAFTA has increased the number of vegetable imports from Mexico, but even with the removal of many trade barriers, shipping vegetables from Mexico is still a highly regulated process. The FDA and USDA have many different requirements for allowing vegetables to enter the country, like a phytosanitary permit and prior notice filing. 

what vegetables come from mexicoWhat Vegetables Come from Mexico?

The USA imports a huge variety of vegetables from Mexico, but there are a few that top the charts. The top vegetable imports from Mexico are:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Chili Peppers
  • Squash
  • Bell Peppers
  • Onions and Shallots
  • Eggplant

Packing and Shipping Vegetables

Although it depends on the type, vegetables are often packed in clamshell packaging, plastic wrap, or plastic bags. These smaller containers are then packed inside a shipping box, with other packaging materials like bubble wrap or foam to protect the vegetables from bruising and blemishing. These large boxes are then made into an even larger unit, by palletizing several boxes together to be easily transported by forklift. 

Once the shipment is on pallets, it must be loaded onto the truck. However, perishable items like vegetables require special considerations to keep them from getting damaged. Temperature control inside the shipping container is an important method of prolonging the vegetable’s shelf life and preventing spoilage. 

Extreme temperatures can render the fresh produce inedible, so make sure you clearly communicate the temperature requirements of your shipment to your carrier, or you could be held liable for any damages.


regulations for importing vegetables into the USA from MexicoRegulations for Importing Vegetables into the USA from Mexico

Vegetables, as with many perishable foods, are highly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Because of the risk of bringing over foreign pests and diseases, the regulatory process is rigorous. 

In order to ship vegetables into the USA from Mexico, you are going to need to follow several regulations, including:

  • NAFTA Certificate of Origin
  • Phytosanitary Permit
  • Plant Permit
  • Prior Notice
  • Proof of Food Facility Registration
  • Additional Requirements from the FAVIR Database

Documents for Clearing U.S. Customs

In addition to the regulations specific to vegetable imports, you are also going to need to manage the customs documents that apply to every single import that enters the USA. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is in charge of regulating the flow of goods into the U.S., and requires several specific documents to accompany any foreign shipment entering the country. 

Customs Bond

A customs bond is basically like an insurance policy for the CBP. The importer must acquire a customs bond from a third party surety company, that could cover the costs of the duties and taxes if the importer becomes unable to. There are two main types of customs bonds, depending on the needs of the shipper: a single entry bond for one-time shipments, and a continuous bond for multiple shipments in a year.


Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading (BOL) is a very important document for your shipment, and it contains a lot of information. It lists the contact information of applicable parties, like the shipper, consignee, and customs broker. It also contains information about the nature of the goods being shipped, like how it should be handled, where it is going, and who to contact if something goes awry. 

Commercial Invoice

The commercial invoice is important for clearing customs, because it serves as legal proof of the agreement between the importer and the manufacturer. It also contains important information about the size and value of the shipment, and the country of origin.

Shipping Vegetables from Mexico with R+L Global Logistics

If you’re interested in shipping vegetables from Mexico, shipping shoes or even the benefits of maquiladoras, working with R+L Global Logistics can offer you the greatest success. By only working with the most trusted carriers, we can boast a 99.5% on-time delivery record, even on expedited shipments! And, we can ensure that your shipment of vegetables is kept cold on a refrigerated freight truck, to ensure the utmost freshness upon arrival! Regardless of whether you are looking for Laredo cross border shipping or anything else, we are prepared to be your strategic partner. Our multi-lingual staff is skilled in border transportation and can help you get your shipment across the border in the most efficient manner.

What are you waiting for? Reach out to us for a quote today!



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