Background

Importers and Exporters to Face Higher USDA Rates in 2021

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced the rates it will charge importers and exporters, meat and poultry establishments, and egg products plants in 2021 for providing voluntary, overtime, and holiday inspection and identification, certification, and laboratory services. These rates will be applied beginning Jan. 3 and are as follows (per hour/per employee).

- basetime: $66.56 (up from $64.84)

- overtime: $81.72 (up from $79.88)

- holiday: $96.88 (up from $94.88)

- laboratory: $84.64 (up from $82.32)

- export application: $4.01 per application

Compliance Date for Meat and Poultry Labeling Changes

The FSIS has issued a final rule stating that compliance with meat and poultry food product labeling regulations issued between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2022, will only be required for such products introduced into commerce on or after Jan. 1, 2024. Comments on this rule are due by Jan. 15.

The FSIS notes that two-year increments for compliance dates enhance the industry's ability to make orderly adjustments to new labeling requirements without exposing consumers to outdated labels. With this approach, meat and poultry producers are able to plan for the use of label inventories and develop new labeling materials that meet the requirements of all labeling regulations made within the two-year period, thereby minimizing the economic impact of labeling changes. 

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