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California bulk citrus shipping change begins April 3

Todd Fitchette Truck hauling citrus
Effective April 3 all bulk shipments of citrus in California will need to be covered with a tarp or shipped in an enclosed container or vehicle. Fines for violations can be $10,000.
Bulk shipments of California citrus must be covered with a tarp or shipped in an enclosed container or vehicle, effective April 3.

The bulk citrus shipping requirements in California temporarily suspended less than a month ago are on again as the state looks to curb the movement of Asian citrus psyllids on commercial loads.

Effective April 3, California will begin enforcement of bulk citrus shipments and the possession of new compliance agreements with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

This means that citrus shipped in California, regardless of origin or destination, must be covered or shipped in an enclosed container or vehicle, according to the CDFA. “Covered” means tarps must extend to the bed of the trailer. Curtain vans meet the current definition of “covered.”

CDFA calls this practice “safeguarding.”

Mesh coverings are allowed if holes are no larger than 0.3 square millimeters (0.547mm by 0.547 mm or 0.6mm by 0.5mm). This is the standard tarping requirement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Safeguarding will be enforced by CDFA, county agriculture departments and law enforcement. Inspections can occur at origin, during transit or at the destination. Law enforcement can stop and cite trucks not in compliance. Drivers must have a copy of the compliance agreement with them.

Violations for not having a compliance agreement and safeguarding are separate violations.

Penalties can be assessed by the counties or state. This includes fines up to $10,000 per violation and the potential revocation of the compliance agreement.

For more information, contact an ACP program office:

  • Visalia: (559) 636-7410
  • Camarillo: (805) 445-1382
  • Palm Desert: (760) 773-0941
  • Upland: (909) 367-7981
  • San Diego: (619) 295-2913
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