[Federal Register: November 21, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 223)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 70033-70035]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21no05-2]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 327

[Docket No. 02-019F]
RIN 0583-AD16

 
Addition of Chile to the List of Countries Eligible To Export 
Meat and Meat Products to the United States

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is adding Chile 
to the list of countries eligible to export meat and meat products to 
the United States. FSIS conducted a thorough review of Chile's meat 
slaughter and processing inspection system, including an on-site review 
of its meat inspection system in operation. FSIS concluded that Chile's 
meat inspection 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 Chile's implementation of meat 
inspection standards and procedures is equivalent to that of the United 
States.
    Meat and meat products slaughtered and processed in certified 
Chilean establishments may be exported to the United States. All such 
products will be subject to re-inspection by FSIS inspectors at U.S. 
ports-of-entry as required by law.

DATES: Effective Date: December 21, 2005.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On May 10, 2005, FSIS published a proposal in the Federal Register 
(70 FR 24485-24488) to add Chile to the list of countries eligible to 
export meat and meat products to the United States (9 CFR 327(b)). As 
discussed in that proposed rulemaking, the government of Chile 
requested approval to export meat and meat products to the United 
States. In response to this request, FSIS conducted a thorough review 
of Chile's meat slaughter and processing inspection system to determine 
whether it is equivalent to the U.S. meat inspection system. FSIS 
concluded that the requirements contained in Chile's meat inspection 
laws and regulations are equivalent to those mandated by the FMIA and 
implementing regulations. FSIS then conducted an on-site review of 
Chile's meat inspection system in operation. The FSIS review team 
concluded that Chile's implementation of meat inspection standards and 
procedures is equivalent to that of the United States.
    The government of Chile will certify to FSIS establishments wishing 
to export products to the United States. FSIS will retain the right to 
verify that establishments certified by the Chilean government are 
meeting requirements

[[Page 70034]]

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.

Comments

    FSIS received 11 comments on the proposed rule. All comments were 
positive, and no objections were raised.

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).
    Listing Chile as eligible to export meat to the United States would 
add only a small portion to total U.S. meat imports. The additional 
product shipments are likely to have only a slight effect on the 
Agency's assignment of import inspection resources at points of entry 
on the East and West coasts. It is unlikely, on the basis of current 
information, that any additional import inspection personnel would need 
to be hired.
    The impact of this rule on U.S. consumers is voluntary in that 
consumers will not be required to purchase meat products slaughtered 
and processed in Chile, 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 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 Chile. Again, it must be noted that 
the volume of trade stimulated by this rule will be small, likely 
having little effect on supply and prices. Nonetheless, it is possible 
that U.S. firms that produce products that would compete with Chilean 
imports could face short-term difficulty. In the long run, however, 
such firms could adjust their product mix in order to compete 
effectively.
    Benefits would include increased trade with Chile and the 
availability to U.S. consumers of a greater quantity of meat of the 
kinds mentioned. Wholesale prices of all grades of these products have 
been moving upward during the last several years. Importing beef, pork, 
and lamb from Chile would not affect this trend or would do so only 
very slightly. Both nations would benefit from an expansion of trade in 
meat as part of a wide range of commodities.

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 final 
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 final rule will add Chile to the list of countries eligible 
to export meat and meat products to the United States. The volume of 
trade stimulated by this rule will be small and would have relatively 
little effect on supply and prices. Therefore, this final 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 final rule. 
Foreign countries wanting to export meat and meat products to the 
United States are required to provide information to FSIS certifying 
that their inspection systems provide standards equivalent to those of 
the United States, and that the legal authority for the systems and 
their implementing regulations are equivalent to those of the United 
States, before they may start exporting such product to the United 
States. FSIS collects this information one time only. FSIS gave Chile 
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 final 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 located 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 
which 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/



[[Page 70035]]

email--subscription/ and allows FSIS customers to sign up for 
subscription options across 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 account.

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 327

    Imported Products.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, FSIS is amending 9 CFR part 
327 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 adding Chile in alphabetical order to 
the list of countries in paragraph (b).

    Done at Washington, DC, on: October, 11, 2005.
Barbara J. Masters,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 05-22980 Filed 11-18-05; 8:45 am]

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