FSIS Import Reinspection
FSIS import inspectors first check the documents to assure the shipment is properly certified by the foreign country. Inspectors next examine each shipment for general condition and labeling and then conduct the inspection assignments.
Port-of-entry reinspection is directed by the Public Health Information System (PHIS), a centralized computer database that stores reinspection results from all ports-of-entry for each country and for each establishment. Reinspection of products is performance-based in that better performing foreign establishments have their products reinspected less frequently. Many of the procedures for product reinspection that FSIS follows are contained in the PHIS Import Directives (9,000 Series).
The PHIS determines the type of reinspection based on compliance history of the establishment and country. Several types of inspection (TOI) may be assigned by the PHIS including net weight checks of retail packages; examination of the containers’ condition; examination for product defects; incubation of canned goods; and laboratory analysis for product composition, microbiological contamination, residues, and species. Additionally, FSIS randomly samples products at ports for drug and chemical residues.
An annual import residue plan sets the initial sampling rate for each country based on its volume of product exported to the U.S. For more information, the National Residue Program (also referred as the "Blue Book") and the National Residue Data (also referred to as The "Red Book") are available on line, or by contacting USDA, FSIS, Food Animal Science Division (FASD), (202) 690-6566, or Fax at (202) 690-6565.
Products that pass reinspection are stamped with the USDA mark of inspection and are allowed to enter U.S. commerce for distribution and use as if they were produced domestically. If imported meat or poultry products do not meet U.S. requirements, they are stamped "U.S. Refused Entry" and within 45 days must be exported, destroyed, or converted to animal food (if eligible and with the approval of the Food and Drug Administration).