Background

Lacey Act import declarations, revised import requirements, and wool and cotton trust funds 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 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 (January 2020; previously September 2019)

- a final rule establishing an exception to the Lacey Act import declaration requirement for products containing a minimal amount of plant materials (January 2020, previously December 2019; proposed rule issued July 2018)

- a final rule to establish standards allowing APHIS to recognize compartments (areas within a country) for animal disease status, which would affect import requirements (January 2020; proposed rule published April 2019)

- a proposed 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 (February 2020; previously October 2019)

- a final rule reflecting minor changes to the USDA’s administration of the Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund and the Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund (February 2020; first time published)

- a final rule revising APHIS regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered organisms (April 2020; proposed rule published June 2019)

Regulations Completed

a final rule listing China as eligible to export to the U.S. poultry products from birds slaughtered in China

final rules listing China, Vietnam, and Thailand as eligible to export Siluriformes fish and fish products to the U.S.

Regulations in Process

- a final rule amending the bovine spongiform encephalopathy and scrapie regulations regarding the importation of live sheep, goats, and wild ruminants and their embryos, semen, products, and byproducts (proposed rule published July 2016)

- a final rule revising the bovine tuberculosis- and brucellosis-related import requirements for cattle and bison (proposed rule published December 2015)

- a final rule changing reporting requirements for fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop imports to implement the use of electronic form submissions (proposed rule issued December 2016)

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