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Inspection Fees, Electronic Export System, Commodity Imports Among Topics of Upcoming USDA Rules

Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

An electronic export application and certification system, adjustments to quarantine and inspection fees, and imports of additional agricultural products are among the topics of proposed and final regulations set forth in the Department of Agriculture’s newest semiannual regulatory agenda. This online resource lists the following regulations affecting international trade in agricultural products that could be issued within the next year as well as rulemaking proceedings that have been in process for some time and are not as likely to see further progress in the near term. The expected timeframes for issuance of the rules are indicated in parentheses.

In addition, several rulemakings have been removed from the regulatory agenda because they have been completed; see below for more details.

Upcoming Regulations

 - separate final rules allowing the importation of fresh (chilled or frozen) beef, under certain conditions, from (a) the Brazilian states of Bahia, Distrito Federal, Espirito Santo, Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Rondonia, Sao Paulo, Sergipe and Tocantis, and (b) northern Argentina (June)

- a final rule adding new user fee categories and adjusting current fees charged for certain agricultural quarantine and inspection services provided in connection with certain commercial vessels, trucks, rail cars and aircraft (June; previously December 2014)

- an interim final rule requiring firewood of all species imported from Canada, including treated lumber (furniture scraps) sold as kindling, and all spruce logs imported from Nova Scotia to be heat-treated and accompanied by either a certificate of treatment or an attached commercial treatment label (June; previously January)

- a final rule providing for consideration of all new fruits and vegetables for importation into the U.S. using a notice-based process and removing region- or commodity-specific phytosanitary requirements (June; previously April)

- a final rule on the Dairy Import Licensing Program (August)

- a final rule providing for an electronic export application and certification system for meat, poultry and egg products (December; previously February)

- a proposed rule adding Namibia to the list of countries eligible to export meat and meat products to the U.S. (December; previously June)

- a final rule adding Lithuania to the list of countries eligible to export meat and meat products to the U.S. (December; not previously published)

Regulations in Process

- a proposed rule to amend the bovine spongiform encephalopathy and scrapie regulations to make further clarifications regarding the importation of live sheep, goats and wild ruminants and their embryos, semen, products and byproducts

- a final rule removing the exemption allowing wood packaging material from Canada to enter the U.S. without first meeting the treatment and marking requirements of the regulations that apply to wood packaging material from all other countries

Completed Rulemakings

- a final rule repealing all references to the GSM-103 (Intermediate Term Guarantee) program and incorporating improvements and changes to the implementation and operation of the GSM-102 (Export Credit Guarantee) program (November 2014)

- a final rule prohibiting or restricting the importation of birds, poultry, and bird and poultry products from regions that have reported the presence in commercial birds or poultry of highly pathogenic avian influenza if any subtype

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