USDA to Phase In Reinspection of Imported Catfish
According to an administrative message from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, between April 15, 2016, and Sept. 1, 2017, the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will select a subset of imported shipments of Siluriformes fish and fish products for reinspection, which will include testing for species, chemical residues and Salmonella. Beginning Sept. 1, 2017, FSIS will reinspect all shipments of imported Siluriformes fish and fish products just as it reinspects all shipments of imported meat, poultry and egg products. FSIS is providing the transitional period to ensure that importers, customs brokers and other stakeholders have ample time to prepare and comply with FSIS’s mandatory reinspection requirements.
During the transitional period shipments of imported Siluriformes fish and fish products from eligible countries/establishments will not display any FSIS flags requiring the submission of electronic data or paper certificates at the border. FSIS will select specific shipments for reinspection and notify brokers verbally when a specific shipment has been selected. For rail, truck and air shipments, FSIS may target a shipment of interest by the time of arrival or CBP release, whichever is later. For ocean shipments, a decision will be made within 48 hours from the time of entry filing.
In any mode of transportation, if FSIS does not provide notification that a Siluriformes fish shipment has been selected for reinspection within the applicable timeframe, that shipment will not need to be presented at an official import inspection establishment for FSIS reinspection and can move in commerce after all other applicable government agency requirements have been met. If a shipment is not selected for reinspection there will be no electronic communication that the shipment may proceed in commerce. Importers and brokers are encouraged to file the entry as soon as possible to ensure that the logistics of the selected shipments can be accommodated.