The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has modified the list of countries with respect to which it will initially implement the Public Health Information System Export Component on June 29.

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.

FSIS recently stated that it will initially implement the 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. This list reflects the addition of French Guiana and the removal of Australia, New Zealand, Paraguay, and the United Arab Emirates. FSIS explains that each of the countries being removed has or will have an export library requirement and will therefore be placed in a later phase of the export component implementation.

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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