[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 43 (Tuesday, March 7, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12785-12786]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-04453]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. FSIS-2017-0009]


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

AGENCY: Office of Food Safety, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service FSIS), is sponsoring a 
public meeting on April 6, 2017. 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 23rd 
Session of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and 
Certification Systems (CCFICS) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission 
(Codex), taking place in Australia between May 1 and 5, 2017. The 
Administrator and Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Office of Food Safety 
recognizes the importance of providing interested parties the 
opportunity to obtain background information on the 23rd Session of the 
CCFICS and to address items on the agenda.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 6, 2017, 
from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will take place at the United States 
Department of Agriculture (USDA), Jamie L. Whitten Building, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., Room 107-A, Washington, DC 20250. Documents 
related to the 23rd 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 23rd 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 23rd 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 April 4, 2017. 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, as discussed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE 23rd SESSION OF THE CCFICS CONTACT: 
Mary Stanley, Director, Office of International Coordination, Food 
Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., Room 2925, South Agriculture Building, 
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, Washington, DC 20250 Phone: (202) 690-4042, 
Fax: (202) 720-3157, Email: Kenneth.Lowery@fsis.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

[[Page 12786]]

Background

    Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, 
the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health 
Organization. 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 CCFICS is hosted by Australia. The U.S. attends CCFICS as a 
member country to the Codex.

Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the Agenda for the 23rd Session of the 
CCFICS will be discussed during the public meeting:
     Discussion paper on system comparability/equivalence;
     Discussion paper on the use of electronic certificates by 
competent authorities and migration to paperless certification;
     Discussion paper on third party certification (with broad 
parameters);
     Discussion paper on consideration of emerging issues and 
future directions for the work of CCFICS;
     Discussion paper on food integrity/food authenticity as 
emerging issues; and
     Other business and future work.
    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, 
or to be distributed by the Secretariat before to the Committee 
Meeting. Members of the public may access or request copies of these 
documents (see ADDRESSES).

Public Meeting

    At the April 6, 2017, 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 23rd Session of the CCFICS (see ADDRESSES). Written comments 
should state that they relate to activities of the 23rd Session of the 
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 March 2, 2017.
Paulo Almeida,
Acting U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
[FR Doc. 2017-04453 Filed 3-6-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P