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The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is proposing to add Namibia to the list of countries whose meat inspection system is equivalent to the system the U.S. has established under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and its implementing regulations. Comments on this proposal are due no later than Nov. 17.
Should this rule become final, Namibia would be eligible to export boneless (not ground) raw beef products such as primal cuts, chuck, blade and beef trimmings to the U.S. but would have to certify that those establishments that wish to export such products to the U.S. are operating in accordance with requirements equivalent to those of the U.S. FSIS would verify such certifications through periodic and regularly scheduled audits of Namibia’s meat inspection system. In addition, the beef products that Namibia exports to the U.S. would be subject to reinspection at U.S. ports of entry for transportation damage, product and container defects, labeling, proper certification, general condition and accurate count.
If Namibia wanted to export other meat products to the U.S. in the future it would need to notify FSIS and submit information about its requirements and inspection program for these products. FSIS would then review this information and determine whether it needs to conduct an audit verifying that information. Namibia would not be allowed to export additional products to the U.S. until FSIS determines that its requirements and inspection program for those products are equivalent to the U.S. system.
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