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Electronic Export System, GMO Imports Among Topics of Upcoming USDA Rules

Monday, December 07, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

An electronic export application and certification system and imports of genetically modified organisms are among the topics of proposed and final regulations set forth in the Department of Agriculture’s most recent 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.

Upcoming Regulations

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

- 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 (February 2016; previously June 2015)

- a proposed rule adding Honduras to the list of countries eligible to export poultry products to the U.S. (March 2016, not previously published)

- a proposed rule on the importation of genetically engineered organisms (July 2016; not previously published)

(A final rule on the Dairy Import Licensing Program that appeared in the previous version of the USDA regulatory agenda does not appear in this version.)

Regulations in Process

- a proposed rule to amend the bovine spongiform encephalopathy and scrapie regulations 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 proposed rule adding Namibia to the list of countries eligible to export meat and meat products to the U.S. (published in September)

 - 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 (published in July)

- 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 (published in October)

- a final rule adding Lithuania to the list of countries eligible to export meat and meat products to the U.S. (published in September)

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