Background

Made in USA labels for meat products, animal imports, and organic enforcement are among the topics of proposed and final regulations the Department of Agriculture is working to complete. The USDA’s most recent semiannual regulatory agenda lists the following regulations affecting international trade in agricultural products that could be issued within the next year, with expected timeframes for issuance of the rules indicated in parentheses. This agenda also lists rulemaking proceedings that have been in process for some time and are not as likely to see further progress in the near term.

Upcoming Regulations

- a proposed rule that would amend (1) the requirements for temporary exports of horses to contagious equine metritis-affected regions and the requirements for horses imported from screwworm-affected regions, (2) the general testing and quarantine requirements for horses imported by air, and (3) the requirements for imports of horses from Canada (January 2021; first time published)

- a proposed rule to define the conditions under which meat product labels can bear voluntary statements indicating that the product is of U.S. origin (April 2021; first time published)

- a proposed rule that would require (1) all live dogs imported for resale purposes to be microchipped for permanent identification and (2) a verifiable signature on the health certificate and rabies certificate accompanying imported live dogs and an endorsement of the certificate by a government official in the country of origin (August 2021; first time published)

- a final rule on strengthening organic enforcement that would, among other things, require imported organic products to be accompanied by an electronic import certificate to validate organic status and require import certificates to be submitted in the Automated Commercial Environment (September 2021; proposed rule issued August 2020)

- a final rule to expand the categories of meat and poultry product labels that will be deemed generically approved and not required to be submitted to USDA (September 2021; proposed rule issued September 2020)

Regulations Completed

- a final rule revising the bovine tuberculosis- and brucellosis-related import requirements for cattle and bison 

Regulations in Process

- a final rule removing the bovine spongiform encephalopathy-related import restrictions on sheep and goats and most of their products and adding import restrictions related to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies for certain wild, zoological, or other non-bovine ruminant species (February 2021; proposed rule published July 2016)

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