[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 240 (Tuesday, December 15, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 77601-77602]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office 
[FR Doc No: 2015-31459]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. FSIS-2015-0040]


Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on 
Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems

AGENCY: Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service 
(FSIS), is sponsoring a public meeting on January 14, 2016. The 
objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive 
public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) 
positions to be discussed at the 22nd Session of the Codex Committee on 
Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) of 
the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), taking place in Melbourne, 
Australia, February 6-12, 2016. The Under Secretary for Food Safety 
recognizes the importance of providing interested parties the 
opportunity to obtain background information on the 22nd Session of the 
CCFICS and to address items on the agenda.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2016 
from 2-4 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will take place at the Jamie L. Whitten 
Building, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., Room 107-A, Washington, DC 20250. Documents 
related to the 22nd Session of the CCFICS will be accessible via the 
Internet at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en.
    Mary Stanley, U.S. Delegate to the 22nd Session of the CCFICS 
invites U.S. interested parties to submit their comments electronically 
to the following email address Mary.Stanley@fsis.usda.gov.
    Call-In-Number:
    If you wish to participate in the public meeting for the 22nd 
Session of the CCFICS by conference call, please use the call-in-number 
and participant code listed below.
    Call-In-Number: 1-888-844-9904.
    The participant code will be posted on the Web page below: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/us-codex-alimentarius/public-meetings.
    Registration:
    Attendees may register to attend the public meeting by emailing 
Kenneth.Lowery@fsis.usda.gov by January 8, 2016. Early registration is 
encouraged because it will expedite entry into the building. The 
meeting will take place in a Federal building. Attendees should bring 
photo identification and plan for adequate time to pass through the 
security screening systems. Attendees who are not able to attend the 
meeting in person, but who wish to participate, may do so by phone.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
    For Further Information About the 22nd Session Of CCFICS Contact: 
Mary Stanley, Director, Office of International Coordination, Food 
Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 
2925, South Agriculture Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20250
    Phone: (202) 720-0287, Fax: (202) 720-4929, Email: 
Mary.Stanley@fsis.usda.gov.
    For Further Information About the Public Meeting Contact: Kenneth 
Lowery, U.S. Codex Office, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 4861, 
South Agriculture Building,

[[Page 77602]]

Washington, DC 20250 Phone: (202) 690-4042, Fax: (202) 720-3157, Email: 
Kenneth.Lowery@fsis.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, 
the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health 
Organization (WHO). Through adoption of food standards, codes of 
practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by 
promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks 
to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the 
food trade.
    The CCFICS is responsible for:
    (a) Developing principles and guidelines for food import and export 
inspection and certification systems with a view to harmonizing methods 
and procedures that protect the health of consumers, ensure fair 
trading practices, and facilitate international trade in foodstuffs;
    (b) Developing principles and guidelines for the application of 
measures by the competent authorities of exporting and importing 
countries to provide assurance where necessary that foodstuffs comply 
with requirements, especially statutory health requirements;
    (c) Developing guidelines for the utilization, as and when 
appropriate, of quality assurance systems to ensure that foodstuffs 
conform with requirements and to promote the recognition of these 
systems in facilitating trade in food products under bilateral/
multilateral arrangements by countries;
    (d) Developing guidelines and criteria with respect to format, 
declarations and language of such official certificates as countries 
may require with a view towards international harmonization;
    (e) Making recommendations for information exchange in relation to 
food import/export control;
    (f) Consulting as necessary with other international groups working 
on matters related to food inspection and certification systems; and
    (g) Considering other matters assigned to it by the Commission in 
relation to food inspection and certification systems.
    The Committee is hosted by Australia.

Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the Agenda for the 22nd Session of CCFICS 
will be discussed during the public meeting:
 Activities of International Organizations relevant to the work 
of CCFICS
 Activities of FAO and WHO
 Activities of other International Organizations:
(a) World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) contribution to the 22nd 
Session of CCFICS
(b) Contribution by the World Customs Organization to the 22nd Session 
of CCFICS
 Draft principles and guidelines for the exchange of 
information (including questionnaires) between countries to support 
food import and export
 Draft Guidance for monitoring the performance of national food 
control systems
 Revision of the Principles and Guidelines for the Exchange of 
Information in Food Safety Emergency Situations
 Revision of the Guidelines for the Exchange of Information 
between Countries on Rejections of Imported Food
 Discussion paper on system comparability or equivalence
 Discussion paper on the use of electronic certificates by 
competent authorities and migration to paperless certification
 Discussion paper on consideration of emerging issues and 
future directions for the work of the Codex Committee on Food Import 
and Export Inspection and Certification
 Discussion paper on system comparability or equivalence
 Other business and future work

    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, 
or to be distributed, by the Secretariat prior to the Committee 
Meeting. Members of the public may access or request copies of these 
documents (see ADDRESSES).

Public Meeting

    At the January 14, 2016 public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the 
agenda items will be described and discussed, and attendees will have 
the opportunity to pose questions and offer comments. Written comments 
may be offered at the meeting or sent to Mary Stanley, U.S. Delegate 
for the 22nd Session of the CCFICS (see ADDRESSES). Written comments 
should state that they relate to activities of the 22nd Session of 
CCFICS.

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal 
Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.
    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through 
the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information 
regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register 
notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that 
could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and 
stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the 
Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more 
diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription 
service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food 
safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export 
information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or 
delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password 
protect their accounts.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds 
of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual 
orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, 
income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, 
exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to 
discrimination any person in the United States under any program or 
activity conducted by the USDA.

How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program 
Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your 
authorized representative.
    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, 
or email:
    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of 
Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, 
Fax: (202) 690-7442, Email: program.intake@usda.gov.
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for 
communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact 
USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC on December 9, 2015.
Mary Frances Lowe,
U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 2015-31459 Filed 12-14-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P