(June 12) There was no stopping a new fee on Canadian fruits and vegetable shipments into the U.S., and now Canadian produce industry leaders hope there will be no new delays in fresh produce shipments to the U.S. to compound their aggravation.

After several months of delay amid appeals by Canadian authorities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented the fee June 1 for all commercial trucks and loaded railroad cars entering the U.S. from Canada. The fee is applies to all agricultural imports. Canadian shipments were previously exempt. The USDA and Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection enforce the fee.

Trucks pay $5.25 each trip or $105 a year.

“The decision (from the U.S.) was, ‘Now we are going to implement and the fees will be collected,’ and that’s the way it is, I guess,” said Danny Dempster, president of the Ottawa-based Canadian Produce Marketing Association.

Dempster acknowledged there had been concerns about produce from other countries labeled as Canadian and shipped to the U.S.

CPMA and the Canadian government had proposed penalizing bad actors.

Dempster said CPMA is asking its members to inform the association of border delays with the new fee enforcement and escalation of border inspections.

“You are moving from a fairly low rate of inspection to perhaps 25% to 30%,” he said.” Hopefully we don’t see extended delays.”