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USDA Preparing for Int’l Meeting on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification

Monday, August 18, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is sponsoring a public meeting Sept. 25 in Washington, D.C., to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft U.S. positions to be discussed at the 21st session of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems, which will take place Oct. 13-17. Interested parties may attend this meeting in person or by conference call.

The CCFICS Committee 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 that foodstuffs comply with requirements, especially statutory health requirements; (c) developing guidelines for the utilization 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; (d) developing guidelines and criteria with respect to the format, declarations and language of such official certificates as countries may require, with a view toward international harmonization; and (e) making recommendations for information exchange in relation to food import/export control.

The following items on the agenda for the 21st session of CCFICS will be discussed during the public meeting: principles and guidelines for the elaboration and management of questionnaires directed at exporting countries, principles and guidelines for monitoring the regulatory performance of national food control systems, revised principles and guidelines for the exchange of information in food safety emergency situations, and amended guidelines for the exchange of information between countries on rejections of imported food.

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