[Federal Register: October 8, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 195)]
[Notices]               
[Page 58060-58061]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08oc03-27]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 03-034N]

 
Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on 
Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems

AGENCY: Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, United 
States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of 
Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are 
sponsoring two public meetings. The first meeting will be held on 
October 22, 2003, to review and receive comments in preparation to 
develop draft U.S. positions, and the second will be held on November 
12, 2003, to provide information and receive public comments on the 
U.S. Draft positions for agenda items that will be discussed at the 
Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification 
Systems (CCFICS), which will be held in Brisbane, Australia, December 
1-5, 2003. The Under Secretary and FDA recognize the importance of 
providing interested parties with information on the Twelfth Session of 
CCFICS and to address items on the Agenda.

DATES: The public meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, October 22, 
2003, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Wednesday, November 12, 2003, from 1 
p.m. to 3 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meetings will be held in Room 1A001 of the Harvey 
W. Wiley Federal Building, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy, College Park, MD 
(green line, College Park Metro stop).
    To receive copies of the documents referenced in this notice, 
contact the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Docket Clerk, 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, FSIS, Room 102, Cotton Annex, 300 12th 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700. The documents will also become 
available via the World Wide Web at the following address: http://codexalimentarius.net/current.asp.
 If you have comments, please send an 
original and two copies to the FSIS Docket Clerk and reference Docket 
03-034N. All comments submitted will be available for public 
inspection in the Docket Clerk's Office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 
p.m., Monday through Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edith Kennard, Staff Officer, U.S. 
Codex Office, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 4861, South 
Agriculture Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 
20250-3700, telephone (202) 720-5261, Fax: (202) 720-3157.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) was established in 1962 
by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture 
Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Codex is 
the major international organization for encouraging fair international 
trade in food and protecting the health and economic interests of 
consumers. Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and 
other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their 
adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks to ensure that 
the world's food supply is sound, wholesome, free from adulteration, 
and correctly labeled. In the United States, USDA, FDA, and EPA manage 
and carry out U.S. Codex.
    The Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and 
Certification Systems was established to develop principles and 
guidelines for food import and export inspection and certification 
systems to facilitate trade through harmonization and to supply safe 
and quality foods to consumers. The CCFICS develops principles and 
guidelines for the application of measures by competent authorities to 
provide assurance that food comply with essential requirements. 
Additionally, the CCFICS develops guidelines for quality assurance 
systems to ensure that foods conform with essential requirements.
    The following issues will be discussed during the public meetings:
    1. Proposed Draft Revision to the Codex Guidelines for the Exchange 
of Information on Food Control Emergency Situations.
    2. Discussion Paper on Traceability/Product Tracing in the Context 
of Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems.
    3. Discussion Paper on the Judgment of Equivalence of Technical 
Regulations Associated with Food Inspection and Certification Systems.

Additional Public Notification

    Public involvement in all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, in an effort to ensure that 
minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are aware of this 
notice and informed about the mechanism for providing their

[[Page 58061]]

comments, FSIS will announce it and make copies of this Federal 
Register publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update. 
FSIS provides a weekly FSIS Constituent Update, which is communicated 
via Listserv, a free e-mail subscription service. In addition, the 
update is available on line through the Internet at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.
 The update is used to provide information regarding 
FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS 
public meetings, recalls, and any other types of information that could 
affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. 
The constituent Listserv consists of industry, trade, and farm groups, 
consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, scientific 
professionals, and other individuals who have requested to be included. 
Through the Listserv and Web page, FSIS is able to provide information 
to a much broader, more diverse audience.
    For more information, contact the Congressional and Public Affairs 
Office at (202) 720-9113. To be added to the free e-mail subscription 
service (Listserv), go to the ``Constituent Update'' page on the FSIS 
web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/update.htm. Click on the 
``Subscribe to the Constituent Update Listserv'' link, then fill out 
and submit the form.

    Done at Washington, DC, on October 2, 2003.
F. Edward Scarbrough,
U.S. Manager for Codex.
[FR Doc. 03-25460 Filed 10-7-03; 8:45 am]