[Federal Register: October 4, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 191)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 57725-57726]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr04oc05-1]                         


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[[Page 57725]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 327

[Docket No. 01-029F]
RIN 0583-AC91

 
Addition of San Marino to the List of Countries Eligible To 
Export Meat Products to the United States

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is adding San 
Marino to the list of countries eligible to export meat products to the 
United States. FSIS conducted a thorough review of the San Marino meat 
processing inspection system, including an on-site review of the San 
Marino meat processing inspection system in operation. FSIS concluded 
that San Marino's meat processing laws, regulations, and other written 
materials demonstrate that they establish requirements that are 
equivalent to the relevant requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection 
Act (FMIA) and its implementing regulations, and that San Marino's 
implementation of meat processing standards and procedures is 
equivalent to that of the United States.
    Meat products from San Marino may be imported into the United 
States only if these products are processed in certified establishments 
in San Marino and are derived from animals that were slaughtered only 
in certified establishments located in other countries that are 
eligible to export meat to the United States as a result of their 
slaughter inspection systems having been found equivalent to that of 
the United States. At present, San Marino will be eligible to export 
only processed pork products and not meat food products containing 
livestock product other than pork to the United States. San Marino did 
not ask to be approved for slaughter of pork. All meat products 
exported from San Marino to the United States will be subject to 
reinspection at the U.S. ports-of-entry by FSIS inspectors as required 
by law.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 3, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sally White, Director, 
International Equivalence Staff, Office of International Affairs; (202) 
720-6400.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On August 13, 2004, FSIS published a proposal in the Federal 
Register (69 FR 50086-50088) to add San Marino to the list of countries 
eligible to export meat and meat products to the United States. As 
discussed in that proposed rulemaking, in 1997 the government of San 
Marino requested approval to export meat and meat products to the 
United States. In response to this request, FSIS conducted a thorough 
review of the San Marino meat processing inspection system to determine 
whether it is equivalent to the U.S. meat inspection system. San Marino 
did not ask FSIS to review its slaughter system for equivalency to the 
U.S. meat inspection system. FSIS concluded that the requirements 
contained in San Marino's meat inspection laws and regulations 
pertaining to its meat processing system are equivalent to those 
mandated by the FMIA and implementing regulations. FSIS then conducted 
an on-site review of the San Marino meat processing inspection system 
in operation. The FSIS review team concluded that San Marino's 
implementation of meat processing standards and procedures is 
equivalent to that of the United States.
    The government of San Marino will certify to FSIS establishments 
eligible to export products to the United States. FSIS will retain the 
right to verify that establishments certified by the San Marino 
government are meeting requirements equivalent to those of FSIS. This 
will be done through annual on-site reviews of the establishments while 
they are in operation.
    Products from a country eligible to export meat and meat products 
must also comply with all other U.S. requirements, including those of 
the U.S. Customs Service and the restrictions under Title 9, part 94 of 
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulations that 
relate to the importation of meat and meat products from foreign 
countries into the United States. APHIS is responsible for keeping 
foreign animal diseases out of the United States. APHIS restricts the 
importation of any fresh, frozen, and chilled meat, meat products, and 
edible products from countries in which certain animal diseases exist. 
Those products that APHIS has restricted from entering the United 
States are refused entry. FSIS works closely with APHIS in coordinating 
its import inspection system so as to allow into the United States only 
meat products that APHIS has found to pose no animal health risk. At 
present, San Marino has certified only one establishment wishing to 
export processed pork products as eligible to export meat food products 
into the United States.

Comments

    FSIS received no comments on the proposed rule.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. It has 
been determined to be not significant for purposes of E.O. 12866 and 
therefore has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB).
    There is only one establishment in San Marino that has applied to 
export meat products to the United States. This establishment will 
export non-shelf stable cooked pork products. U.S. imports from this 
establishment are expected to total approximately 500,000 pounds per 
year.
    Adoption of this rule will continue to open trade between the U.S. 
and San Marino, which over the past decade has consisted of U.S. firms 
occasionally exporting small amounts of pork and poultry products to 
San Marino. This rule will also increase the U.S. food supply.
    The impact of this rule on U.S. consumers is voluntary in that 
consumers will not be required to purchase meat products produced and 
processed in San Marino, although they may choose to do so. Expected 
benefits from this type of rule would accrue primarily to consumers in 
the form of competitive prices due to a larger market variety of meat 
products. The

[[Page 57726]]

volume of trade stimulated by this rule, however, will likely be so 
small as to have little effect on supply and prices. Consumers, apart 
from any change in prices, would benefit from increased choices in the 
marketplace.
    The costs of this rule will accrue primarily to producers in the 
form of greater competition from San Marino. Again, it must be noted 
that the volume of trade stimulated by this rule will be very small, 
likely having little effect on supply and prices. Nonetheless, it is 
possible that U.S. firms that produce products that would compete with 
San Marino imports could face short-term difficulty. In the long run, 
however, such firms could adjust their product mix in order to compete 
effectively.

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. When this final rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before 
parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Effect on Small Entities

    The Administrator, FSIS, has made a determination that this rule 
will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601). 
This rule will add San Marino to the list of countries eligible to 
export meat products into the United States. Currently, only one San 
Marino establishment has applied to export product to the United 
States. This establishment is planning to export approximately 500,000 
pounds of non-shelf stable cooked pork products to the United States 
per year. The volume of trade stimulated by this rule would be very 
small, likely having little effect on supply and prices. Therefore, 
this rule is not expected to have a significant impact on small 
entities that produce these types of products domestically.

Paperwork Requirements

    No new paperwork requirements are associated with this rule. A 
foreign country wanting to export livestock products to the United 
States is required to provide information to FSIS certifying that its 
inspection system provides standards equivalent to those of the United 
States and that the legal authority for the system and its implementing 
regulations are equivalent to those of the United States before it may 
start exporting such product to the United States. FSIS collects this 
information one time only. FSIS gave San Marino questionnaires asking 
for detailed information about the country's inspection practices and 
procedures to assist the country in organizing its materials. This 
information collection was approved under OMB number 0583-0094. The 
proposed rule contains no other paperwork requirements.

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, in an effort to ensure that the 
public and in particular minorities, women, and persons with 
disabilities are aware of this final rule, FSIS will announce it on-
line through the FSIS Web page at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/2005_Interim_&_Final_Rules_Index/index.asp .

    The Regulations.gov Web site is the central online rulemaking 
portal of the United States government. It is being offered as a public 
service to increase participation in the Federal government's 
regulatory activities. FSIS participates in Regulations.gov and will 
accept comments on documents published on the site. The site allows 
visitors to search by keyword or Department or Agency for rulemakings 
that allow for public comment. Each entry provides a quick link to a 
comment form so that visitors can type in their comments and submit 
them to FSIS. The Web site is located at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FSIS also will make copies of this Federal Register publication 
available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide 
information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal 
Register notices, FSIS public meetings, recalls, and other types of 
information that could affect or would be of interest to our 
constituents and stakeholders. The update is communicated via Listserv, 
a free e-mail subscription service consisting of industry, trade, and 
farm groups, consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, 
scientific professionals, and other individuals who have requested to 
be included. The update also is available on the FSIS web page. Through 
Listserv and the web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a 
much broader, more diverse audience.
    In addition, FSIS offers an electronic mail subscription service 
that provides an automatic and customized notification when popular 
pages are updated, including Federal Register publications and related 
documents. This service is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_and_events/email_subscription/
 and allows FSIS customers to sign up 

for subscription options in eight categories. Options range from 
recalls to export information to regulations, directives and notices. 
Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves and have the 
option to password protect their accounts.

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 327

    Imports, Meat and meat products.


0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 9 CFR part 327 is amended as 
follows:

PART 327--IMPORTED PRODUCTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 327 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 21 U.S.C. 601-695; 7 CFR 2.18, 2.53.


Sec.  327.2  [Amended]

0
2. Section 327.2 is amended by redesignating footnote 1 as footnote 2, 
adding ``San Marino \1\'' in alphabetical order to the list of 
countries in paragraph (b), and by adding a new footnote 1 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  327.2  Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of 
products into the United States.

* * * * *
    (b) * * * San Marino \1\ * * *

\1\ Equivalent for processing inspection system only.

    Done at Washington, DC, on September 28, 2005.
Barbara J. Masters,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 05-19774 Filed 10-3-05; 8:45 am]

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