Background

Temporary Allowances for Import Inspection Establishments

Under Department of Agriculture regulations, all imported product under the jurisdiction of the Food Safety and Inspection Service must be reinspected at an official import inspection establishment before it can enter the U.S. or be moved to another location. However, FSIS has recognized that there are backups at ports because of complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As a result, from Oct. 8, 2021, to April 6, 2022, FSIS will temporarily allow imported product to be stored at warehouses, for a period not to exceed 30 days, until the product can be reinspected at the import establishment. FSIS expects import establishments to use this six-month time period to take appropriate action to minimize these problems in the future. 

Import establishments wishing to participate must submit a request to FSIS inspection program personnel that includes a plan detailing where and how the establishment will maintain control of product stored offsite. The establishment must keep and maintain a log identifying product held offsite that includes sufficient detail to identify each certificate and lot, including documentation of case counts. 

Each lot held offsite must be delivered intact to the designated establishment for reinspection within 30 days of customs entry. FSIS will consider distribution of product from incidental storage prior to reinspection to be a prohibited act by the import establishment. In such cases, FSIS will withhold inspection immediately until the import establishment has taken corrective actions, and it may revoke offsite storage privileges.

Poultry from Poland Authorized

The USDA has announced that, effective Oct. 7, poultry products derived from poultry slaughtered and processed in certified establishments in Poland are eligible for export to the U.S. USDA has reviewed Poland’s poultry laws, regulations, and inspection system and determined that they are equivalent to those of the U.S. Affected poultry products will be subject to reinspection at U.S. points of entry by USDA inspectors.

USDA notes that the volume of trade stimulated by this change is likely to be small and is expected to have little or no effect on U.S. poultry supplies or prices.

Corn Seed from South Africa Under Consideration

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is considering a request to authorize the importation of corn seed for planting into the U.S. and its territories from South Africa. APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that lists the potential pests likely to remain on this commodity upon importation if no mitigation is applied. Comments on this assessment, including information that might lead APHIS to revise its assessment before identifying pest mitigations and proceeding with the commodity import approval process, are due by Nov. 23.

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