[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 115 (Friday, June 16, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 27625-27629]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-12554]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 115 / Friday, June 16, 2017 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 27625]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 381

[Docket No. FSIS-2016-0002]
RIN 0583-AD64


Eligibility of the People's Republic of China (PRC) To Export to 
the United States Poultry Products From Birds Slaughtered in the PRC

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to 
amend the poultry products inspection regulations to list the PRC as 
eligible to export to the United States poultry products from birds 
slaughtered in the PRC. The PRC is currently eligible to export 
processed poultry products to the United States if the products are 
derived from poultry slaughtered in the United States or in other 
countries eligible to slaughter and export poultry to the United 
States. FSIS is proposing this action because the Agency has reviewed 
the PRC's laws, regulations, and poultry slaughter inspection system as 
implemented and has determined that the PRC's poultry slaughter 
inspection system is equivalent to the system that the United States 
has established under the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) and 
its implementing regulations.
    Should this rule become final, slaughtered poultry, or parts or 
other products thereof, processed in certified PRC establishments, 
would be eligible for export to the United States. Although the PRC may 
be listed in FSIS's 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. All such products would be subject to re-
inspection at United States ports-of-entry by FSIS inspectors.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 15, 2017.

ADDRESSES: FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this 
proposed rule. Comments may be submitted by one of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: This Web site provides the 
ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this 
Web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions at that site for 
submitting comments.
     Mail, including CD-ROMs, etc.: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Patriots 
Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163A, 
Washington, DC 20250-3700.
     Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to Patriots 
Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-163B, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
    Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must 
include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2016-0002. Comments 
received in response to this docket will be made available for public 
inspection and posted without change, including any personal 
information, to http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, go 
to the FSIS Docket Room at Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-
164, Washington, DC 20250-3700 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday 
through Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Daniel Engeljohn, Assistant 
Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development; Telephone: 
(202) 205-0495.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The PRC is currently eligible to export processed poultry products 
to the United States if they are processed in certified establishments 
in the PRC from poultry slaughtered in federally inspected 
establishments in the United States or in other certified slaughter 
establishments in other countries eligible to export poultry to the 
United States. FSIS is proposing to amend the poultry inspection 
regulations (9 CFR 381.196(b)) to list the PRC as also eligible to 
export to the United States poultry products from birds slaughtered in 
certified PRC establishments to the United States.

Statutory Basis for Proposed Action

    Section 17 of the PPIA (21 U.S.C. 466) prohibits importation into 
the United States of slaughtered poultry, or parts or products thereof, 
of any kind unless they are healthful, wholesome, fit for human food, 
not adulterated, and contain no dye, chemical, preservative, or 
ingredient that renders them unhealthful, unwholesome, adulterated, or 
unfit for human food. Under the PPIA and the regulations that implement 
it, poultry products imported into the United States must be produced 
under standards for safety, wholesomeness, and labeling accuracy that 
are equivalent to those of the United States. Section 381.196 of Title 
9 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) sets out the procedures by 
which foreign countries may become eligible to export poultry and 
poultry products to the United States.
    Section 381.196(a) requires a foreign country's poultry inspection 
system to include standards equivalent to those of the United States 
and to provide legal authority for the inspection system and its 
implementing regulations that is equivalent to that of the United 
States. Specifically, a country's legal authority and regulations must 
impose requirements equivalent to those of the United States with 
respect to: (1) Ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection by, or under the 
direct supervision of, a veterinarian; (2) official controls by the 
national government over establishment construction, facilities, and 
equipment; (3) direct and continuous official supervision of 
slaughtering of poultry and processing of poultry products by 
inspectors to ensure that product is not adulterated or misbranded; (4) 
complete separation of establishments certified to export from those 
not certified; (5) maintenance of a single standard of inspection and 
sanitation throughout certified establishments; (6) requirements for 
sanitation and for sanitary handling of product at establishments 
certified to export; (7) official controls over condemned product; (8) 
a Hazard Analysis and

[[Page 27626]]

Critical Control Point (HACCP) system; and (9) any other requirements 
found in the PPIA and its implementing regulations (9 CFR 
381.196(a)(2)(ii)).
    The country's inspection system must also impose requirements 
equivalent to those of the United States with respect to: (1) 
Organizational structure and staffing to ensure uniform enforcement of 
the requisite laws and regulations in all certified establishments; (2) 
national government control and supervision over the official 
activities of employees or licensees; (3) competent, qualified 
inspectors; (4) enforcement and certification authority; (5) 
administrative and technical support; (6) inspection, sanitation, 
quality, species verification, and residue standards; and (7) any other 
inspection requirements (9 CFR 381.196(a)(2)(i)).
    The foreign country's inspection system must ensure that 
establishments preparing poultry or poultry products for export to the 
United States comply with requirements equivalent to those of the PPIA 
and the regulations promulgated by FSIS under the authority of that 
statute. The foreign country certifies the appropriate establishments 
as having met the required standards and advises FSIS of those 
establishments that are certified or removed from certification. Before 
FSIS will grant approval to the country to export poultry or poultry 
products to the United States, FSIS must first determine that reliance 
can be placed on the certification of establishments by the foreign 
country (9 CFR 381.196(a)(1)).
    As indicated above, a foreign country's inspection system must be 
evaluated by FSIS before eligibility to export poultry products to the 
United States can be granted. This evaluation consists of two 
processes: A document review and an on-site review. The document review 
is an evaluation of the laws, regulations, and other written materials 
used by the country to effect its inspection program. FSIS requests 
that countries provide information about their inspection systems 
through its self-reporting tool (SRT). The SRT is a standardized 
questionnaire that FSIS provides to foreign governments to gather 
information that characterizes foreign inspection systems. Through the 
SRT, FSIS collects information on practices and procedures in six 
areas, known as equivalence components: (1) Government Oversight (e.g., 
Organization and Administration), (2) Government Statutory Authority 
and Food Safety and Other Consumer Protection Regulations (e.g., 
Inspection System Operation, Product Standards and Labeling, and Humane 
Handling), (3) Government Sanitation, (4) Government HACCP Systems, (5) 
Government Chemical Residue Testing Programs, and (6) Government 
Microbiological Testing Programs.\1\ FSIS evaluates the information 
submitted to verify that the critical points in the six equivalence 
components are addressed satisfactorily with respect to standards, 
activities, resources, and enforcement. If the document review is 
satisfactory, an onsite review is scheduled using a multidisciplinary 
team to evaluate all aspects of the country's inspection program. This 
comprehensive process is described more fully on the FSIS Web site at 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/importing-products/equivalence/equivalence-process-overview.
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    \1\ FSIS has made slight changes to the titles of the six 
equivalence components in the SRT. FSIS added ``Government'' to the 
titles of all of the components to clarify that FSIS assesses food 
regulatory systems. FSIS also added examples of types of government 
oversight and types of statutory authority and food safety 
regulations that FSIS evaluates when determining equivalence so that 
those components are easier to understand.
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    The PPIA and implementing regulations require that foreign 
countries be listed in the CFR as eligible to export poultry products 
to the United States. FSIS must engage in rulemaking to list a country 
as eligible. Countries found eligible to export poultry or poultry 
products to the United States are listed in the poultry inspection 
regulations at 9 CFR 381.196(b). Once listed, the government of an 
eligible country must certify to FSIS that establishments that wish to 
export poultry products to the United States are operating under 
requirements equivalent to those of the United States (9 CFR 
381.196(a)(3)). Countries must renew certifications of establishments 
annually (9 CFR 381.196(a)(3)). To verify that products imported into 
the United States are not adulterated or misbranded, FSIS reinspects 
and randomly samples those products at ports-of-entry before they enter 
U.S. commerce.

Evaluation of the PRC's Poultry Inspection System

    In May 2004, the government of the PRC requested approval to export 
poultry products to the United States. FSIS conducted a document review 
of the PRC's poultry (slaughter and processing) inspection system to 
determine whether that system was equivalent to the United States 
poultry inspection system. FSIS concluded, on the basis of that review, 
that the PRC's laws, regulations, control programs, and procedures were 
equivalent to those of the United States.
    Accordingly, FSIS proceeded with an on-site audit of the PRC's 
poultry inspection system from December 1 to December 17, 2004, to 
verify that the PRC's General Administration of Quality Supervision, 
Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ), which is the PRC's central 
competent authority (CCA) in charge of food inspection, effectively 
implemented a poultry inspection system equivalent to that of the 
United States. During the 2004 on-site audit, FSIS identified problems 
with the PRC's sanitation controls, slaughter/processing controls, 
residue controls, and enforcement controls. For example, FSIS found 
that the sanitation programs at the establishments visited by the audit 
team lacked measures to prevent recurring deficiencies that could 
result in direct product contamination or adulteration, but AQSIQ 
inspectors did not identify the problems. FSIS also found that the CCA 
did not have adequate control and supervision over establishments, and 
official veterinarians did not adequately understand FSIS standards.
    From July 27 to August 12, 2005, FSIS conducted a follow-up initial 
equivalence audit to determine whether the outstanding issues 
identified during the previous audit had been resolved. FSIS concluded 
that the PRC had satisfactorily addressed all of the 2004 audit 
findings for poultry processing. However, the 2005 audit had identified 
a new systemic deficiency within the risk area of enforcement controls 
for poultry slaughter. Specifically, FSIS found that ante-mortem and 
post-mortem inspection procedures and dispositions were performed by 
establishment-paid veterinarians. On the basis of the 2005 audit, FSIS 
determined that the PRC's system for processed poultry was equivalent 
to that of the United States system, but denied the PRC's eligibility 
to export slaughtered poultry.
    In April 2006, FSIS published a final rule in the Federal Register 
that added the PRC to the list of countries eligible to export poultry 
products to the United States with the stipulation that the PRC could 
only export processed poultry products derived from birds slaughtered 
under Federal inspection in the United States or from another country 
eligible to export slaughtered poultry products (see 71 FR 20867; April 
24, 2006). However, shortly after the publication of the final rule, 
Congress prohibited FSIS from using funds to establish or implement a 
rule allowing poultry products to be exported to the United States from 
the PRC (see Sec. 733 of Pub. L. 110-161). As a result, the PRC

[[Page 27627]]

was unable to export poultry products to the United States.
    In October 2009, Congress lifted the ban on poultry product exports 
from the PRC on the condition that FSIS conduct on-site reviews of 
slaughter and processing facilities, laboratories, and other control 
operations and conduct annual audits and reviews after the PRC is 
deemed equivalent (see Sec. 743 of Pub. L. 111-80).
    In June 2010, a team of FSIS experts traveled to the PRC to collect 
information related to legislation applicable to their poultry 
inspection system. FSIS conducted a comprehensive analysis of the PRC's 
Food Safety Law (FSL) promulgated in 2009 and other information 
submitted by the PRC to verify that the following equivalence 
components were addressed satisfactorily with respect to standards, 
activities, resources, and enforcement: (1) Government Oversight (e.g., 
Organization and Administration); (2) Government Statutory Authority 
and Food Safety and Other Consumer Protection Regulations (e.g., 
Inspection System Operation, Product Standards and Labeling, and Humane 
Handling); (3) Government Sanitation; (4) Government HACCP Systems; (5) 
Government Chemical Residue Testing Programs; and (6) Government 
Microbiological Testing Programs.
    From December 1 to 21, 2010, FSIS conducted separate but concurrent 
on-site audits of the PRC's processed poultry inspection system and the 
PRC's poultry slaughter inspection system to verify whether the CCA was 
able to effectively implement a poultry inspection system equivalent to 
that of the United States. The auditors concluded that the CCA was able 
to meet the principal requirements for the equivalence components of 
Sanitation and Chemical Residue Programs. However, FSIS identified 
systemic inadequacies in both the PRC's processed poultry inspection 
system and the PRC's poultry slaughter inspection system within the 
equivalence components for: Government Oversight (e.g., Organization 
and Administration), Government Statutory Authority and Food Safety and 
Other Consumer Protection Regulations (e.g., Inspection System 
Operation, Product Standards and Labeling, and Humane Handling), 
Government HACCP Systems, and Government Microbiological Testing 
Programs. For example, FSIS found that the CCA lacked a standardized 
method to assign inspection personnel to slaughter facilities based on 
objective measurements such as production line rates, inspection 
workloads, or line configuration. The CCA also utilized establishment-
paid inspectors to conduct official inspection duties. The CCA 
responded by developing a comprehensive corrective action plan 
addressing the findings.
    From March 4 to 19, 2013, FSIS conducted follow-up on-site audits 
to verify whether the CCA maintained effective oversight of the PRC's 
processed poultry inspection system and the PRC's poultry slaughter 
inspection system and to verify whether the PRC implemented the 
corrective actions proffered in response to the previous audit's 
findings. On the basis of the 2013 audit of the processed poultry 
inspection system, FSIS concluded that the PRC's processed poultry 
inspection system met all the equivalence components for FSIS 
equivalence criteria. Therefore, on August 30, 2013, FSIS announced in 
the Constituent Update (available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/9ad2eb47-a47f-4d16-9b81-0e57368f0c07/ConstUpdate083013.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CONVERT_TO=url&CACHEID=9ad2eb47-a47f-4d16-9b81-0e57368f0c07) that the PRC could export processed poultry 
products to the United States. However, the CCA did not adequately 
address all previously identified concerns about its poultry slaughter 
inspection system. The CCA was able to meet the principal requirements 
of the equivalence components for Government Sanitation, Government 
HACCP Systems, Government Chemical Residue Testing Programs, and 
Government Microbiological Testing Programs, but FSIS found that the 
Government Oversight (e.g., Organization and Administration) and 
Government Statutory Authority and Food Safety and Other Consumer 
Protection Regulations (e.g., Inspection System Operation, Product 
Standards and Labeling, and Humane Handling) components were not 
equivalent. Specifically, the CCA still lacked a standardized method to 
assign inspection personnel to slaughter facilities on the basis of 
objective measurements. The CCA responded to these concerns, stating 
that it would implement changes to its poultry slaughter inspection 
system.
    From May 8 to 28, 2015, FSIS conducted separate but concurrent on-
site audits to verify whether the PRC's processed poultry inspection 
system remains equivalent to the United States' system, and to verify 
whether the CCA adopted the necessary corrective measures to its 
poultry slaughter inspection system. FSIS concluded, from the 2015 
follow-up audits, that the PRC's processed poultry inspection system 
remains equivalent to the United States' system. FSIS also concluded 
that the PRC had satisfactorily addressed all issues of concern that 
FSIS raised in its 2013 audit of the PRC poultry slaughter inspection 
system and had met the FSIS equivalence criteria for all six 
components.
    On August 21, 2014, FSIS published a final rule to modernize 
poultry slaughter inspection (79 FR 49566). The rule implemented new 
U.S. regulatory requirements including (1) the New Poultry Inspection 
System (NPIS), an optional post-mortem inspection system, and (2) 
regulatory changes that apply to all poultry slaughter establishments. 
On August 11, 2016, the PRC sent a letter to FSIS outlining the changes 
that were made to the PRC's poultry inspection system to achieve 
equivalency with the revised U.S. regulations. The PRC stated in the 
letter that it had updated its inspection manuals to require that 
establishments develop, implement, and maintain written procedures in 
their HACCP plans, Sanitation SOPs, or other prerequisite programs to 
ensure that carcasses with visible fecal contamination do not enter the 
chiller. According to the letter, the manuals also require 
establishments to develop, implement, and maintain written procedures 
in their HACCP plans, Sanitation SOPs, or other prerequisite programs 
to prevent contamination of carcasses and parts by enteric pathogens 
and visible fecal material. The PRC stated in the letter that these 
written procedures must include sampling and analysis for microbial 
organisms to monitor process control for enteric pathogens. The PRC 
stated in the letter that it had adopted the U.S. requirements for 
NPIS, and that establishments must get approval from their local 
official regulatory agency before they may use the system. On September 
1, 2016, the PRC sent copies of their updated inspection manuals to 
FSIS. FSIS has reviewed the submitted letter and updated inspection 
manuals and has determined that the PRC poultry slaughter inspection 
system is equivalent with the new U.S. regulatory requirements in the 
August 21, 2014 final rule.
    In summary, FSIS has completed the document review, on-site audits, 
and has verified that the PRC made necessary to corrective actions to 
its poultry slaughter inspection system in response to the FSIS audits. 
Therefore, FSIS has determined that, as implemented, the PRC's poultry 
slaughter inspection system is equivalent to the United States poultry

[[Page 27628]]

inspection system. The full audit reports on the PRC's poultry 
inspection system (slaughter and processing) can be found on the FSIS 
Web site at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/importing-products/eligible-countries-products-foreign-establishments/foreign-audit-reports.
    Should this rule become final, the government of the PRC must 
certify to FSIS those establishments that wish to export slaughtered 
poultry products to the United States are operating in accordance with 
requirements equivalent to those of the United States. FSIS will verify 
whether the establishments certified by the PRC's government meet the 
United States requirements through annual scheduled audits of the PRC's 
poultry inspection system.
    Although a foreign country may be listed in FSIS regulations as 
eligible to export poultry to the United States, the exporting 
country's products must also comply with all other applicable 
requirements of the United States. These requirements include 
restrictions under 9 CFR part 94 of APHIS's regulations, which also 
regulate the exportation of poultry products from foreign countries to 
the United States. For example, APHIS has classified the PRC as a 
region affected with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza subtype H5N1 and 
Exotic Newcastle Disease. Therefore, even if FSIS were to list the PRC 
as a country eligible to export slaughtered poultry, or parts or 
products thereof, at this time, the PRC would only be allowed to export 
cooked poultry products to the United States (see 9 CFR 94.6). Since 
the PRC's disease status may change during the equivalence process, 
FSIS will follow-up with APHIS and take into consideration how changes 
in the animal disease status may impact the country's eligibility to 
export certain types of poultry products to the United States.
    If this proposed rule is adopted, all slaughtered poultry, or parts 
and products thereof, exported to the United States from the PRC will 
be subject to re-inspection at the U.S. ports-of-entry for, but not 
limited to, transportation damage, product and container defects, 
labeling, proper certification, general condition, and accurate count. 
In addition, FSIS will conduct other types of re-inspection activities, 
such as incubation of canned products to ensure product safety and 
taking product samples for laboratory analysis for the detection of 
drug and chemical residues, pathogens, species, and product 
composition. Products that pass re-inspection will be stamped with the 
official United States mark of inspection and allowed to enter United 
States commerce. If they do not meet United States requirements, they 
will be refused entry and within 45 days must be exported to the 
country of origin, destroyed, or converted to animal food (subject to 
approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)), depending on 
the violation. The import re-inspection activities can be found on the 
FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/fsis_import_reinspection/index.asp.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting 
flexibility. This proposed rule has been designated as a ``non-
significant'' regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 
(E.O.) 12866. Accordingly, the rule has not been reviewed by the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) under E.O. 12866 and is not subject to 
the provisions of E.O 13771.

Expected Costs of the Proposed Rule

    The costs of this rule would accrue primarily to domestic poultry 
producers in the form of greater competition from the PRC. In the short 
run, the cost is likely to be small as the expected volume of trade 
stimulated by this proposed rule is likely to be small (see Expected 
Benefits section below.)
    The domestic producers would probably start to feel the pressure of 
competition should the PRC become eligible to export raw and other non-
fully-cooked poultry products, and more establishments become certified 
to export to the United States. Some domestic producers may lose market 
share, and would have to make the necessary investment to be more 
efficient and stay competitive. As discussed before, the Agency cannot 
predict when this could happen. However, because the initial impact is 
likely to be small, as the expected PRC export volume is low, the 
Agency expects that the United States' industry would have time to 
prepare for the potentially larger impact and adjust their business 
strategies.

Expected Benefits of the Proposed Rule

    FSIS has not estimated the potential impact in the long run. 
However, the PRC is the second largest poultry producing country in the 
world, trailing closely behind the United States.\2\ If the PRC were to 
export other poultry products (for example, if APHIS allows the PRC to 
export raw chicken products) \3\ to the United States and more PRC 
establishments become certified to be eligible, consumers will likely 
benefit from more choices and more competitive prices in the 
marketplace, and producers will likely become more efficient to be 
competitive.\4\ The Agency did not quantify the value of these benefits 
because of the lack of predictability associated with the many factors 
that heavily influence trade patterns and volume. These factors include 
results of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards issues (e.g. the avian 
influenza), exchange rates,\5\ and domestic political and economic 
conditions.
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    \2\ See Food Outlook, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) 
of the United Nations, October 2015, p. 49, at http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5003e.pdf, accessed 1/11/2016.
    \3\ As mentioned above, APHIS has classified PRC as region 
affected by certain animal diseases, so the PRC would only be 
allowed to export cooked poultry products to the United States.
    \4\ It is well-established that international trade benefits 
trade partners because it allows countries to specialize in 
producing products at which they have a comparative advantage.
    \5\ The exchange rate affects the relative prices of exports and 
imports. The PRC's currency--RMB--has been appreciating against 
other currencies and is expected to fluctuate in the near future.
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    Adoption of this rule will increase trade between the United States 
and the PRC in poultry products. In the short run, the volume of trade 
stimulated by this proposed rule is likely to be small because the PRC 
only intends to certify five slaughter establishments to provide 
poultry to certified processing establishments to export fully-cooked 
poultry products to the United States. Data from the PRC showed that 
these five slaughter establishments will supply poultry to five 
processing establishments that the PRC will certify as eligible to ship 
product to the U.S.--three of them intend to export cooked chicken 
quarter-legs and chicken breasts, one to export cooked duck legs and 
duck breasts, and one to export roasted boneless duck to the United 
States. According to the data, the projected volume of export to the 
United States will be about 324 million pounds per year for the next 
five years.\6\

[[Page 27629]]

Given that the United States domestic annual production volume of RTE 
fully-cooked poultry is about 12,325 million pounds,\7\ the projected 
cooked poultry products from the PRC would only be about 2.6 percent of 
total United States production in the next five years.\8\ The immediate 
impact on the United States consumers and domestic processors is likely 
to be minor, as the low volume of trade is likely to have little effect 
on supply, demand, and prices.
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    \6\ Data is from the General Administration of Quality 
Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of 
China, November 2015. The projected annual production of the 
mentioned chicken and duck products at these five processing 
establishments will be about 838 million pounds per year, which 
could be sold in the PRC or to other foreign countries.
    \7\ Calculated from PHIS data in November 2015. This number 
cannot be divided by species. If we adjusted it by the proportions 
of chicken and ducks in total domestic slaughtered poultry, which is 
88.3 percent, the volume would be about 10,833 million pounds per 
year.
    \8\ If we use 10,833 million pounds (see previous footnote) as 
the denominator, the projected PRC export would be about 3 percent 
of United States domestic production of fully-cooked chicken and 
duck.
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Expected Effects on Small Entities

    The FSIS Administrator has made a preliminary determination that 
this proposed rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial 
number of small entities, as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act 
(5 U.S.C. 601). The expected trade volume will be small, with little or 
no effect on all U.S. establishments, regardless of size.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) No retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) Administrative proceedings will not be required before 
parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    No new paperwork requirements are associated with this proposed 
rule. Foreign countries wanting to export poultry and poultry products 
to the United States are required to provide information to FSIS 
certifying that their inspection systems provide standards equivalent 
to those of the United States, and that the legal authority for the 
system and their implementing regulations are equivalent to those of 
the United States. FSIS provided the PRC with questionnaires asking for 
detailed information about the country's inspection practices and 
procedures to assist that country in organizing its materials. This 
information collection was approved under OMB control number 0583-0094. 
The proposed rule contains no other paperwork requirements.

E-Government Act

    FSIS and USDA are committed to achieving the purposes of the E-
Government Act (44 U.S.C. 3601, et seq.) by, among other things, 
promoting the use of the Internet and other information technologies 
and providing increased opportunities for citizen access to Government 
information and services, and for other purposes.

Additional Public Notification

    FSIS will officially notify the World Trade Organization's 
Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (WTO/SPS Committee) in 
Geneva, Switzerland, of this proposal and will announce it on-line 
through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/Proposed_Rules/index.asp. FSIS also will make 
copies of this Federal Register 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, 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, 
shall 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).

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 381

    Imported products.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, FSIS is proposing to amend 
9 CFR part 381 as follows:

PART 381--POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for Part 381 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 138f, 450; 21 U.S.C. 451-470; 7 CFR 2.7, 
2.18, 2.53.


Sec.  381.196  [Amended]

0
2. Amend Sec.  381.196(b) by removing footnote 2 after ``People's 
Republic of China.''

    Done at Washington, DC, on June 12, 2017.
Alfred V. Almanza,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-12554 Filed 6-15-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P