The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced a one-year delay in the implementation of a final rule amending the meat and poultry inspection regulations to provide for an electronic export application and certification system and provide flexibility in the requirements for official export inspection marks, devices, and certificates. FSIS said this delay is needed to ensure that the new system is “thoroughly tested with all industry stakeholders.”

The Public Health Information System Export Component, which will be available as an alternative to the paper-based process, will enable exporters to access their online accounts to electronically submit, track, and manage applications for export certificates. Establishment management will be able to apply for approval of establishments for export when required by the foreign country; create, revise, and submit product lists; cancel pending applications and certificates; request replacement certificates; and return exported products. Exporters who utilize the PHIS will be charged a fee, which is expected to initially be set at $4.03 per application and to be updated each year. Foreign governments will have the capability to view in PHIS all export certificates issued by FSIS for product intended for their country.

The PHIS Export Component, the electronic application fee, and the requirement to use a seven-digit export mark or unique identifier were to have been effective as of June 29, 2017. FSIS is now pushing that implementation date back to June 29, 2018.

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