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U.S. Allows Imports of Fresh Potatoes from Mexico, Poultry from Korea

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Potatoes from Mexico. The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule that, effective April 25, will allow the importation of fresh potatoes from Mexico into the United States. As a condition of entry, these potatoes must be produced in accordance with a systems approach employing a combination of mitigation measures to prevent the introduction and dissemination of plant pests into the U.S. Specifically, the potatoes must be imported in commercial consignments; produced by a grower who is registered in a certification program; packed in registered packinghouses; washed, cleaned and treated with a sprout inhibitor after harvest; inspected after packing for quarantine pests; accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that declares that the conditions for importation have been met; and transported in a sealed means of conveyance from the packing house to the port of first arrival in the U.S. In addition, the national plant protection organization of Mexico must provide to APHIS a bilateral work plan that details the activities that the NPPO will carry out to meet these requirements, subject to APHIS’ approval.

Poultry from Korea. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a final rule that, effective May 27, will add South Korea to the list of countries eligible to export poultry products to the U.S. FSIS has reviewed Korea's poultry laws, regulations and inspection system and determined that they are equivalent to the Poultry Products Inspection Act, the regulations implementing this statute and the U.S. food safety system for poultry. As a result, slaughtered poultry or parts or other products thereof processed in certified Korean establishments will be eligible for export to the United States.

All such products will be subject to re-inspection at U.S. ports of entry for, among other things, 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 to detect any drug or chemical residues or pathogens that may render the product unsafe or any species or product composition violations that would render the product economically adulterated. Products that pass re-inspection will be stamped with the official mark of inspection and allowed to enter U.S. commerce. If they do not meet U.S. requirements they will be refused entry and within 45 days will have to be returned to the country of origin, destroyed or converted to animal food, depending on the violation.

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