The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will initially implement its Public Health Information System Export Component June 29 with the following countries: Afghanistan, Andorra, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cook Islands, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, San Marino, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The PHIS export component will enable exporters to electronically submit, track, and manage applications for export certificates, including bundling multiple applications and supplemental documents into a single file. Foreign governments will have the capability to view all export certificates issued by FSIS for product intended for their country. FSIS will be able to digitally sign export certificates and to electronically inventory and track export certificate information, which will enable it to review exact images of export certification documents prior to approval. In the future, FSIS intends to support electronic export certification, which will allow it to transfer certification data directly to the certification system of the foreign government’s competent authority.

After June 29 exporters of covered goods (meat and poultry products; egg products and casings will be added later) can continue to submit paper export certification applications, but those who do so will need to email or mail the completed application, and any additional information required by the foreign country, to FSIS for entry into PHIS. However, FSIS has warned that processing paper-based export certificate applications will be slower than for those submitted electronically.

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