[Federal Register: February 26, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 37)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 8293-8296]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr26fe07-23]                         

========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================



[[Page 8293]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 381

[Docket No. FSIS-2006-0030]
RIN 0583-AD25

 
Eligibility of Chile To Export Poultry and Poultry Products to 
the United States

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to 
add Chile to the list of countries eligible to export poultry and 
poultry products to the United States. Reviews by FSIS of Chile's laws, 
regulations, and inspection implementation show that its poultry 
inspection system requirements are equivalent to the relevant 
provisions of the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) and its 
implementing regulations.
    Under this proposal, poultry and poultry products processed in 
certified Chilean establishments may be exported to the United States. 
All such products will be subject to re-inspection at United States 
ports-of-entry by FSIS inspectors.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 27, 2007.

ADDRESSES: FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this 
proposed rule. Comments may be submitted by any of the following 
methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This Web site provides the ability to 
type short comments directly into the comment field on this Web page or 
attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov 

and, in the ``Search for Open Regulations'' box, select ``Food Safety 
and Inspection Service'' from the agency drop-down menu, then click on 
``Submit.'' In the Docket ID column, select FDMS Docket Number FSIS-
2006-0030 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and 
related materials available electronically.
    Mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROM's, and hand-or courier-
delivered items: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Food Safety and Inspection Service, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 102 
Cotton Annex, Washington, DC 20250.
    Electronic mail: fsis.regulationscomments@fsis.usda.gov.
    All submissions received by mail or electronic mail must include 
the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2006-0030. All comments 
submitted in response to this proposal, as well as research and 
background information used by FSIS in developing this document, will 
be available for public inspection in the FSIS Docket Room at the 
address listed above between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday. Comments will also be posted on the Agency's Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/2007_Proposed_Rules_Index/index
.


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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to amend 
its poultry products inspection regulations to add Chile to the list of 
countries eligible to export poultry and poultry products to the United 
States (9 CFR 381.196). Chile is not currently listed as eligible to 
export such products to the United States.

Statutory Basis for Proposed Action

    Section 17 of the PPIA (21 U.S.C. 466) prohibits importation into 
the United States of slaughtered poultry, or parts or products thereof, 
of any kind unless they are healthful, wholesome, fit for human food, 
not adulterated, and contain no dye, chemical, preservative, or 
ingredient that renders them unhealthful, unwholesome, adulterated, or 
unfit for human food. Under the PPIA and the regulations that implement 
it, poultry products imported into the United States must be produced 
under standards for safety, wholesomeness, and labeling accuracy that 
are equivalent to those of the United States. Section 381.196 of Title 
9 of the CFR sets out the procedures by which foreign countries wanting 
to export poultry and poultry products to the United States may become 
eligible to do so.
    Section 381.196(a) provides that a foreign country's poultry 
inspection system must include standards equivalent to those of the 
United States, and that the legal authority for the inspection system 
and its implementing regulations must also be equivalent to those of 
the United States. Specifically, a country's regulations must impose 
requirements equivalent to those of the United States with respect to: 
(1) Ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection; (2) official controls by 
the national government over plant construction, facilities, and 
equipment; (3) direct and continuous supervision of slaughter 
activities, where applicable, and product preparation by official 
inspection personnel; (4) separation of establishments certified to 
export from those not certified; (5) maintenance of a single standard 
of inspection and sanitation throughout certified establishments; and 
(6) official controls over condemned product.
    The foreign country's inspection system must ensure that 
establishments preparing poultry or poultry products for export to the 
United States, and their products, comply with requirements equivalent 
to those of the PPIA and the regulations promulgated by FSIS under the 
authority of that statute. The foreign country certifies the 
appropriate establishments as having met the required standards. The 
country must satisfy FSIS that the certifications it issues are 
reliable before FSIS will grant approval to the country to export 
poultry or poultry products to the United States (9 CFR 381.196). To 
assess the reliability of the foreign country's certifications, FSIS 
evaluates the country's inspection system and performs ongoing reviews 
of that system. To ensure that products imported into the United States 
are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled and packaged, FSIS randomly 
re-inspects and samples those products before they enter the United 
States.
    In addition to meeting the certification requirements, a foreign 
country's inspection system must be evaluated by FSIS before 
eligibility to export poultry or poultry products to

[[Page 8294]]

the United States can be granted. This evaluation consists of two 
processes: a document review and an on-site review. The document review 
is an evaluation of the laws, regulations, and other written materials 
used by the country to effect its inspection program. To help the 
country in organizing its material, FSIS gives the country 
questionnaires asking for detailed information about the country's 
inspection practices and procedures in five risk areas. These five risk 
areas, which are the focus of the evaluation, are sanitation, animal 
disease, slaughter/processing, residues, and enforcement. FSIS 
evaluates the information to verify that the critical points in the 
five risk areas are addressed satisfactorily with respect to standards, 
activities, resources, and enforcement. If the document review is 
satisfactory, an on-site review is scheduled using a multi-disciplinary 
team to evaluate all aspects of the country's inspection program, 
including laboratories and individual establishments within the 
country. The process of determining equivalence is described fully on 
the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/equivalence_process/index.asp
.

    The PPIA and the regulations that implement it require that foreign 
countries be listed as eligible in the Code of Federal Regulations. 
FSIS must do rulemaking to list a country as eligible. Countries found 
eligible to export poultry or poultry products into the United States 
are listed in the poultry inspection regulations at 9 CFR 381.196(b). 
Once listed, it is the responsibility of the eligible country to 
certify that establishments meet the requirements to export poultry or 
poultry products to the United States, and to ensure that products from 
these establishments are safe, wholesome, and not misbranded.

Evaluation of the Chilean Inspection System for Poultry and Poultry 
Products

    In response to a request from Chile for approval to export poultry 
and poultry products to the United States, FSIS conducted a review of 
Chile's poultry slaughter inspection system to determine whether it is 
equivalent to the U.S. poultry inspection system. First, FSIS compared 
Chile's poultry inspection laws and regulations with U.S. requirements. 
The Agency concluded that the requirements contained in Chile's poultry 
slaughter inspection laws and regulations are equivalent to the PPIA 
and to the regulations that FSIS has adopted under the PPIA to effect 
that statute. FSIS then conducted two on-site reviews of Chile's 
poultry slaughter inspection system in operation. The FSIS review team 
concluded that, as implemented, Chile's poultry slaughter standards and 
procedures are equivalent to those of the United States. The full 
report on Chile's poultry slaughter inspection system can be found on 
the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/foreign_audit_reports/index.asp
.

    As a country eligible to export poultry and poultry products to the 
United States, the government of Chile must certify to FSIS those 
establishments that wish to export such products to the United States 
and that operate in accordance with these requirements. FSIS will 
retain the right to verify that the establishments certified by Chile's 
government are meeting the U.S. requirements. This verification will be 
done through annual reviews of the establishments while they are in 
operation.
    Although a foreign country may be listed as eligible to export 
poultry to the United States, the exporting country's products must 
also comply with all applicable U.S. requirements. These requirements 
include restrictions under 9 CFR part 94 of the United States 
Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) regulations, which also regulate the exportation of meat or 
poultry products from foreign countries to the United States.
    If this proposed rule is adopted, any poultry and poultry products 
exported to the United States from Chile will be subject to re-
inspection at the ports-of-entry for transportation damage, labeling, 
proper certification, general condition, and accurate count. FSIS will 
also conduct other types of inspection, including examination of 
products for defects and sampling and laboratory analysis of products 
for chemical residues or for microbiological contamination. Products 
that pass re-inspection will be stamped with the official United States 
mark of inspection and allowed to enter U.S. commerce. If they do not 
meet U.S. requirements, they will be refused entry and must be re-
exported, destroyed, or converted to animal food.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866 by 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and has been determined to be 
not significant for purposes of E.O. 12866. The proposed rulemaking 
would add Chile to the list of countries eligible to export poultry and 
poultry products to the United States.

Economic Impact Analysis

    This rule was designated as non-significant. It is expected that 
approximately five establishments in Chile will be exporting poultry 
and poultry products to the U.S. Chile expects to export raw young 
chicken breast (de-boned) products, starting in 2007 with 5,000 Metric 
Tons (MT) and reaching an estimated 12,000 MT in 2010. These estimates 
are based on Chile's actual and future production capacity and its 
decision to maintain an increasing presence in the export market. For 
comparison, FSIS estimated, based on data from the USDA Agricultural 
Marketing Service (AMS) and the National Agricultural Statistics 
Service (NASS), that in 2005 the U.S. produced about 1,444,000 MT of 
raw young chicken breast (deboned) products. Chile's estimated initial 
exports to the U.S. in 2007 should represent about three-tenths of one 
percent (5,000 MT/1,444,000 MT) of the U.S. domestic production of raw 
young chicken breast (deboned) products, in 2005. Further, if Chile's 
exports to the U.S. reach, in 2010, the estimate of 12,000 MT of raw 
young chicken breast (deboned) products, these imports will represent 
about eight-tenths of one percent (12,000 MT/1,444,000 MT) of the U.S. 
domestic production of raw young chicken breast (deboned) products in 
2005.
    The impact of this proposed rule on U.S. consumers is voluntary in 
that consumers will not be required to purchase poultry or poultry 
products produced and processed in Chile. Expected benefits from this 
type of proposed rule would accrue primarily to consumers in the form 
of lower prices. The small volume of trade stimulated by this proposed 
rule, however, will likely have little effect on supply and prices. 
Consumers, apart from any change in prices, would benefit in principle 
from increased choices at competitive price points in the marketplace.
    The costs of this rule will accrue primarily to U.S. producers in 
the form of greater competition from Chile. Again, it must be noted 
that the volume of trade stimulated by this rule would be very small, 
likely having little discernible effect on supply and prices.
    General benefits would include increased trade with Chile and the 
availability to U.S. consumers of a greater quantity of poultry and 
poultry products. Both nations would benefit from an expansion of trade 
in poultry and poultry products as part of a wide range of commodities.
    Constraints on the expansion of trade in poultry and poultry 
products

[[Page 8295]]

between the United States and Chile are expected to occur mainly in the 
form of restrictions imposed under U.S. animal health laws. APHIS has 
agreed to supply FSIS with evaluations and current updates of the 
animal disease status of regions in Chile where establishments likely 
to export poultry and poultry product to the United States are located.
    The additional poultry and poultry 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.
    Estimates of benefits and costs of increased trade in poultry and 
poultry products with Chile are based on data supplied by the FSIS 
Office of International Affairs and Office of Field Operations; Foreign 
Agricultural Service (FAS) databases and trade reports; Economic 
Research Service (ERS) databases, reports, and analyses; Agricultural 
Marketing Service (AMS) databases, reports, and analyses; National 
Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) databases, reports, and 
analyses; and Census Bureau databases and reports. Standard economic 
analytical techniques were used in estimating effects of the proposed 
rulemakings.
    The major source of uncertainty in estimating the effects of this 
proposed rule is in forecasting the number of establishments likely to 
be certified by Chile to export poultry and poultry products to the 
United States. Other, less important, sources of uncertainty include 
imprecision in the economic data consulted, e.g., estimates of demand 
and supply elasticities and probable errors in multi-year forecasts of 
prices for the poultry and poultry product commodities that would be 
regulated under the proposed rule.

Effect on Small Entities

    The FSIS Administrator has made an initial determination that this 
proposed 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 proposed rule would add Chile to the list of 
countries eligible to export poultry and poultry products to the United 
States. The volume of trade stimulated by this rule would be very small 
and would have minimal effect on poultry and poultry products supplies 
and prices. Therefore, this proposed rule is not expected to have a 
significant impact on small entities that produce these types of 
poultry and poultry products domestically.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed 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.

Paperwork Requirements

    No new paperwork requirements are associated with this proposed 
rule. Foreign countries wanting to export poultry and poultry products 
to the United States are required to provide information to FSIS 
certifying that their inspection systems effect 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. 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 that country in 
organizing its materials. This information collection was approved 
under OMB number 0583-0094. The proposed rule contains no other 
paperwork requirements.

Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA)

    FSIS is committed to compliance with the GPEA, which requires 
Government agencies, in general, to provide the public the option of 
communicating electronically with the government to the maximum extent 
possible. The Agency will ensure that all forms used by the 
establishments are made available electronically.

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 proposed rule, FSIS will announce it 
on-line through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/2007_Proposed_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, 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 e-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 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 381

    Imported products.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, FSIS is proposing to amend 
9 CFR part 381 as follows:

PART 381--POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION REGULATIONS

    1. The authority citation for part 381 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 138f, 450; 21 U.S.C. 451-470; 7 CFR 2.7, 
2.18, 2.53.


Sec.  381.196  [Amended]

    1. Section 381.196 is amended in paragraph (b) by adding Chile in 
alphabetical order to the list of countries.


[[Page 8296]]


    Done at Washington, DC, on February 20, 2007.
Bryce Quick,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. E7-3155 Filed 2-23-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P