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Constituent Update - November 1, 2019

FSIS Announces Final Determinations of Equivalence for the Siluriformes Fish Inspection Systems of China, Thailand and Vietnam

FSIS has made final determinations that the Siluriformes fish inspection systems of China, Thailand and Vietnam are equivalent to the system established by the United States under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and its implementing regulations.

China, Thailand and Vietnam have been exporting raw Siluriformes fish to the U.S. under the provisions provided in the December 2015 FSIS final rule that established a mandatory FSIS inspection system for Siluriformes fish (80 FR 75590).  All three countries have submitted documentation to FSIS to establish the equivalence of their Siluriformes fish inspection system and eligibility to export to the U.S. FSIS reviewed the documentation submitted, conducted on-site audits of these countries, and concluded that, as implemented, the inspection systems are equivalent to that of the U.S.

Under the final rules, China, Thailand and Vietnam may continue to export raw Siluriformes fish products that fall within the FSIS product categories “Raw Product – Intact” and “Raw Product – Non-Intact.”

All Siluriformes products will be subject to re-inspection at U.S. points-of-entry by FSIS inspectors.

These rules will be on display at the Federal Register on Monday, November 4, 2019, and will be published on Tuesday, November 5,  2019.

FSIS has also posted advance copies of the rule at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations/federal-register/interim-and-final-rules.

To learn more about the equivalence process, document review and audit review, please visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/equivalence .

FSIS Announces Final Rule on Eligibility of China to Export Poultry Products to the United States

FSIS conducted a review of China’s laws, regulations and poultry slaughter inspection system, as well as in-country audits of the system, and determined that it is equivalent to the U.S. system established under the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), the regulations implementing this statute and the United States’ food safety system for poultry.

Under the final rule, slaughtered poultry, or parts or other products thereof, processed in certified China establishments, would be eligible for export to the United States. Although China will be listed in FSIS’ regulations as eligible to export poultry products to the United States, the products must also comply with all other applicable requirements of the United States, including those of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) before any products can enter the United States. At this time, APHIS has restrictions on imports of raw poultry products from China due to animal disease concerns for Newcastle disease and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Therefore, China will only be able to send cooked poultry product to the United States.

Prior to this rule, China was eligible to export processed poultry products to the United States but only if the products were derived from poultry slaughtered in the United States or in other countries eligible to slaughter and export poultry to the United States.

Consistent with how FSIS treats product from countries when they first start exporting to the United States, FSIS will conduct increased re-inspection activities for this product from China at U.S. ports of entry, including increased physical exams and increased sampling and testing for chemical residues and microbial pathogens.

FSIS has submitted the final rule to the Office of the Federal Register. It is likely to go on display and publish in the Federal Register next week. FSIS has posted an advance copy of the rule at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/8689888b-7492-4ec5-b0df-f46a77df9f48/2016-0002.pdf?MOD=AJPERES .

To learn more about the equivalence process, document review and audit review, please visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/equivalence.

New E-mail Address to Submit Petitions

FSIS has established a new e-mail address that allows interested persons to submit petitions and comments on petitions electronically. The e-mail address is: fsispetitions@usda.gov .

A petition for rulemaking is a written request to issue, amend, or repeal a regulation administered by FSIS. A request to issue, amend, or repeal other FSIS policy documents, such as FSIS directives, notices, or industry guidelines, may also be submitted by petition. FSIS’ regulations governing the petition process are in 9 CFR part 392. These regulations contain instructions on how to submit a petition to FSIS and describe the types of information that may help FSIS to review a petition in a more efficient manner. The regulations also permit interested parties to submit comments on a petition.

All petitions for rulemaking or policy changes submitted to FSIS are posted on the FSIS website. Comments submitted on petitions are also posted.  When submitting an electronic comment on a petition, members of the public should identify the petition number in the subject line. Other than first and last name, FSIS does not post personally identifiable information (PII), such as personal addresses, phone numbers, or e-mail addresses on its website. Therefore, FSIS recommends that persons interested in submitting a comment on a petition not include PII with their comments. If a comment on a petition includes PII, the agency will remove such information before posting the comment.

Export Requirements Updates

The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following countries:

  • Australia 
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico 
  • Peru 
  • Qatar 
  • Senegal

Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products

Policy Updates

FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations. The following policy updates were recently issued:

Docket No. FSIS-2016-0002 - Eligibility of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to Export to the United States Poultry Products from Birds Slaughtered in the PRC

Docket No. FSIS-2018-0029 - Eligibility of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Export Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products to the United States

Docket No. FSIS-2018-0030 - Eligibility of the People’s Republic of China to Export Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products to the United States

Docket No. FSIS-2018-0031 - Eligibility of Thailand to Export Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products to the United States

Docket No. FSIS-2018-0045 - Changes to the Salmonella Verification Testing Program Proposed Performance Standards for Salmonella in Raw Ground Beef and Beef Manufacturing Trimming

FSIS Directive 10100.1 Rev. 1 - FSIS Cecal Sampling Under the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Surveillance Program

FSIS Notice 41-19 - Raw Pork Products Sampling Program

FSIS Notice 42-19 - Cutoff Dates for Year-End Purchases Fiscal Year 2020

FSIS Notice 43-19 - Secure Print Implementation

FSIS Notice 44-19 - Reminder for FSIS Inspection Program Personnel of Verification Requirements for Canadian Ruminants Imported for Slaughter