Constituent Update - April 17, 2020
Update to the Import Library on FSIS Website
On April 9, 2020, FSIS updated the Import Library: Eligible Countries and Products webpage on its website. The agency updated the country-specific information linked on the webpage based on the revised methodology that was developed to clarify the specific eligible species, process categories, product categories, and products for each country to export to the U.S. Countries with updated information are noted with a yellow highlighted asterisk.
The information detailed on the country-specific pages aligns with the FSIS product categorization guide and the Public Health Information System (PHIS). Additionally, FSIS updated country-specific information for applicable Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) animal disease requirements and the disease-specific links to APHIS’ website and regulations. These changes will make it easier for stakeholders to identify the eligible species, categories, and products that equivalent countries are eligible export to the U.S.
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
Labels are currently taking about 10-12 business days to evaluate.
TIP: The “Label Submission Checklist” on the FSIS website is a useful resource providing a listing of mandatory label features, a series of questions to consider about each label feature, and the applicable regulatory citations.
When establishments submit accurate and complete label applications, FSIS is able to evaluate the application more efficiently. By reviewing the “Label Submission Checklist” before submitting a label for approval, establishments can verify that the label meets the applicable mandatory labeling requirements, making it less likely that the label will be returned or need to be modified. The checklist includes questions to consider for each mandatory label feature, as well as the specific meat and poultry regulatory citations for each feature. The checklist also includes questions to consider when completing the label application and identifies common mistakes, such as not sublisting the ingredients of multi-component foods or ingredients (e.g., soy sauce, bread) in the ingredients statement on the label.
The checklist is also a useful resource for identifying mandatory label features on labels that may be generically approved under 9 CFR 412.2 and do not need to be submitted to FSIS. If after reviewing the checklist an establishment is still unclear if a specific label requirement applies to their product, or if the establishment has additional questions on a specific label feature, FSIS recommends that establishments submit their questions using askFSIS.
View the FSIS Label Submission Checklist.
For access to askFSIS, please use the following link: https://askfsis.custhelp.com/.
FSIS will continue to provide updates regarding label turnaround time, as well as suggestions to assist industry to streamline label submissions in its Constituent Update.
Make sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions at USDA.gov/coronavirus. New this week:
- Want to see what the FDA is doing?
- Is the U.S. food supply safe?
- Will there be food shortages?
- What measures are FDA (and CDC, state partners, etc.) taking to ensure that we remain able to address foodborne illness outbreaks during the COVID-19 pandemic?
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at their respective libraries. The following policy updates were recently issued:
Docket No. FSIS-2020-0014 - Notice of Request for Renewal of an Approved Information Collection (Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection)
FSIS Directive 10,400.1 Revision 1 - Sample Collection from Cattle Under the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Ongoing Surveillance Program
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for the following countries:
- China, People's Republic of
- El Salvador
- European Union
- Kiribati, Republic of
- Korea, Republic of
- New Zealand
- New Caledonia
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- St. Lucia
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- Western Samoa (Samoa)