Apply for Initial Equivalence
The following guidance documents and specified requirements will assist individual countries wishing to apply for initial equivalence.
Countries wishing to become eligible to export meat, poultry, or egg products to the U.S. must make a formal request by letter. Letters must come from the foreign government´s Central Competent Authority for the inspection of meat, poultry or egg products. Please address your correspondence to:
|U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Office of Policy and Program Development
International Equivalence Staff
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 2145, South Building
Washington, DC 20250-3700
Email for general inquiries: InternationalEquivalence@fsis.usda.gov
Process for Evaluating the Equivalence of Foreign Meat and Poultry Food Regulatory Systems (July 2011; PDF Only)
This document, which describes the process by which FSIS follows in order to determine the initial equivalence of the food safety inspection system of other countries, has been updated to reflect the most current process.
Index of Equivalence Related Policies
Access a collection of FSIS Directives & Notices related to equivalence.
Pathogen Reduction-Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (PR-HACCP) Rule (PDF Only)
The PR-HACCP system establishes a scientific basis for controlling food safety hazards.
Generic HACCP Models
The generic HACCP models provide guidance for the development of HACCP plans for various types of products.
Guidebooks & Methods
The Guidebooks contain current protocols for analytical tests required by FSIS regulatory activities on meat, poultry and egg products. They include Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook, Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook, and Pathology Laboratory Guidebook.
Acts & Authorizing Statutes
FSIS operates under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act, in addition to Executive Orders, small business protection laws and other guidance applicable to all Federal agencies.
Code of Federal Regulations
The following publications contain U.S. regulatory requirements for importing meat, poultry and egg products to the U.S.:
- Code of Federal Regulations: Title 9, Parts 300 to End
FSIS regulations relating to meat, poultry and egg products.
- Code of Federal Regulations: Title 9, Part 94
Information on USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) requirements.
- Code of Federal Regulations: Title 19, Parts 141 and 142
General U.S. Customs Service regulations
- Code of Federal Regulations: Title 19, Part 12
U.S. Customs regulations for importing restricted merchandise including meat and poultry.