Publication Method for Lists of Foreign Countries Eligible To Export Meat, Poultry, or Egg Products to the United States, 65265-65269 [2019-25750]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 229 / Wednesday, November 27, 2019 / Rules and Regulations For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 923 is amended as follows: Program Development; Telephone: (202) 720–0089. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PART 923—MARKETING ORDER REGULATING THE HANDLING OF SWEET CHERRIES GROWN IN DESIGNATED COUNTIES IN WASHINGTON Background On April 12, 2019, FSIS proposed to amend its regulations to remove lists of foreign countries eligible to export meat, poultry, or processed egg products to the United States and, instead, maintain such lists on its website (84 FR 14894). The proposal noted that it did not include any changes to the criteria FSIS uses to evaluate whether a foreign country is eligible. The proposal also described how removing the lists from the regulations would affect FSIS’s process for implementing equivalence determinations. Instead of publishing proposed and final rules in the Federal Register, FSIS will now implement equivalence determinations through Federal Register notices with requests for public comment. FSIS will respond to public comments in any Federal Register notice that finalizes an equivalence determination. FSIS will also use this process when it is necessary to terminate the eligibility of a foreign country. This final rule will allow FSIS to convey more clearly information on countries’ equivalence status. Once the rule is in place, the list posted on the website will not conflict with any outdated information in the Federal Register. In addition to removing the lists from the regulations, the Agency proposed to amend six parts of 9 CFR Chapter III (310, 327, 381, 424, 557, 590) to remove references to the lists. After reviewing comments on the proposed rule, FSIS is finalizing it without changes, except for nonsubstantive changes, for clarity, to the regulatory language proposed for 9 CFR 327.2(b). Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. ■ 2. Revise 923.236 to read as follows: § 923.263 Assessment rate. On and after April 1, 2019, an assessment rate of $0.20 per ton is established for the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee. Dated: November 21, 2019. Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2019–25650 Filed 11–26–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service 9 CFR Parts 310, 327, 381, 424, 557, and 590 [Docket No. FSIS–2018–0027] RIN 0583–AD72 Publication Method for Lists of Foreign Countries Eligible To Export Meat, Poultry, or Egg Products to the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is amending its regulations to remove lists of foreign countries eligible to export meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States. FSIS will maintain a single list of eligible foreign countries on its website. The criteria FSIS uses to evaluate whether a foreign country is eligible to export meat, poultry, or egg products has not changed. This rule will allow FSIS to more efficiently and clearly communicate equivalence determinations by maintaining a single list of exporting countries on its website, rather than maintaining one list on the website and outdated lists in the codified regulations. In addition, the Agency is amending it regulations to remove references to the lists. DATES: Effective December 27, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Terri Nintemann, Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:36 Nov 26, 2019 Jkt 250001 Responses to Comments FSIS received 15 comments, from 13 individuals, an industry association representing egg processors, and a consumer advocacy organization. The issues raised in the comments and the Agency responses are summarized below. Comments: FSIS received comments relating to the use of online lists. One individual questioned the use of online lists as potentially confusing or difficult to locate by stakeholders. Another recommended that FSIS ensure that the online lists are updated soon after determinations are finalized. The consumer advocacy organization believed that keeping equivalence determinations on FSIS’s website could invite hacking or mistakes and expressed concern that some PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 65265 individuals do not have access to the internet. Response: FSIS does not believe these concerns warrant reconsideration of the use of online lists. This rule’s amendments to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) direct readers to the web address where FSIS maintains the list, www.fsis.usda.gov/importlibrary. FSIS will additionally publish notice of equivalence determinations in the Federal Register and include links to these determinations in its Constituent Update, which is posted weekly on FSIS’s website. FSIS will ensure that its web content managers update the online lists shortly after any final determination is published in the Federal Register. FSIS’s website is protected to ensure that only authorized users may gain access or make changes. The system keeps track of past versions, which may be restored if needed. Therefore, no hacking event could permanently alter the entries on the lists. Comments: The industry group supported the proposed rule, but urged FSIS not to weaken its equivalence standards, reduce opportunities for public participation, or make any currently public aspects of the equivalence process non-public. It also urged FSIS to be more transparent in its investigations, audits, and determinations and ensure that the offices of the Under Secretary for Food Safety and the Secretary of Agriculture provide oversight for equivalence determinations. The consumer advocacy organization opposed the proposed rule as undermining the importance of equivalence determinations. Response: Under this final rule, FSIS is not changing its equivalence standards or opportunities for public comment. FSIS will continue to maintain the same level of transparency in these determinations by publishing its on-site audit reports and allowing for public comment on preliminary equivalence determinations. The offices of the Under Secretary for Food Safety and the Secretary of Agriculture currently review every preliminary and final equivalence determination made by FSIS and will continue to do so under this final rule. Comments: The industry group also recommended that FSIS create specific regulatory requirements establishing a comment period for Federal Register notices of equivalence determinations and a provision mandating that the Agency will respond to comments in the Federal Register. The consumer advocacy organization advocated for a 60-day comment period for all E:\FR\FM\27NOR1.SGM 27NOR1 65266 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 229 / Wednesday, November 27, 2019 / Rules and Regulations equivalence determinations, and a minimum 30-day period for any rulemaking that removes a country’s equivalence. Response: Consistent with other Federal agencies, FSIS regulations do not establish length of comment periods for any proposal rules. The Agency will retain flexibility to set and extend comment periods as needed to adequately receive and consider public feedback. Also, consistent with other Federal agencies, FSIS regulations do not state that FSIS will respond to public comments in a second Federal Register notice. That being said, after a preliminary equivalence determination, FSIS will publish a Federal Register notice, including the response to public comments, to finalize (or decline to finalize) any equivalence determination. Comment: The industry group sought clarification with regard to the FSIS’s proposal to amend the current version of the regulations at 9 CFR 590.910 to remove the list of foreign countries eligible to export processed egg products to the United States and instead refer to the list of countries eligible to export on the FSIS website. As FSIS explained in Footnote 2 of the proposed rule, FSIS already had proposed to revise § 590.910 of the regulations in an earlier proposed rule concerning egg products (83 FR 6314, February 13, 2018), but only for more consistency with the existing regulations for meat and poultry. Response: FSIS proposed to amend the version of § 590.910 in effect at the time. Because the February 2018 proposed rule regarding egg products has not been made final, those regulations are still in effect. FSIS is thus amending those regulations, as proposed. If the February 2018 rulemaking is made final, its version of § 590.910 will incorporate the changes made by this final rule regarding the listing of foreign countries with equivalent egg products inspection systems. Comment: The consumer advocacy organization sought clarification on the time period before a country would be listed as inactive on FSIS’s website. Response: FSIS states on its website and in instructions to Agency personnel that, after three or more years without shipping, a country will be considered ‘‘inactive’’ and must apply for a reinstatement of equivalence. See FSIS Directive 9770.1, Determining Initial and Reinstating the Equivalence of Foreign Food Safety Inspection Systems. Therefore, consistent with current practice, if a country does not ship for three years, FSIS will move the country VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Nov 26, 2019 Jkt 250001 to the ‘‘inactive’’ chart on the FSIS website. Comment: An individual commenter asked how the rule would promote efficiency and if there were other costs to FSIS. Response: As FSIS explained in the economic analysis, the change in publication method will not create additional costs to FSIS, which will continue to implement equivalence determinations through the Federal Register. Similarly, there will not be additional costs for industry or foreign countries seeking to export to the United States. This final rule will allow FSIS to more efficiently propose and finalize equivalence determinations without changing the substantive criteria or level of evaluation of foreign food safety systems. This will save staff time and allow FSIS’s list of exporting countries to more quickly reflect changes in foreign counties’ equivalence status. FSIS will also gain efficiency by maintaining a single list of exporting countries on its website, rather than maintaining one list on the website and a separate list in the codified regulations. Comments: The industry group urged FSIS to apply stricter scrutiny to foreign food safety systems. It also expressed concern about whether the processed egg products system in the Netherlands is genuinely equivalent to the U.S. system. An individual commenter suggested that imported meat and poultry products be monitored and tested for safety by the FDA. Response: These comments are outside the scope of this rulemaking, which focuses solely on the publication method of lists of foreign countries eligible to export meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This final rule has been designated as a ‘‘non-significant’’ regulatory action under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866. Accordingly, the rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under E.O. 12866. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Expected Costs of the Final Rule This final rule doesn’t change the requirements for importing meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States. FSIS will continue to determine whether a foreign country’s food safety inspection system for meat, poultry, or egg products is equivalent to FSIS’s inspection system. FSIS will announce the results of equivalence determinations through a notice with a request for comments in the Federal Register, rather than a proposed rule. In addition, FSIS will continue to assess the costs and benefits of new countries becoming eligible to ship product to the United States. This change in procedure will not alter U.S. production, imports, or consumption; therefore, FSIS does not expect a change in U.S. consumer price due to this final rule. The change in procedure is also not expected to add any additional cost to the countries applying for eligibility to import meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States, nor does it add costs to FSIS, or the U.S. meat, poultry, or egg products industries. Expected Cost Savings and Benefits of the Final Rule While there are no additional costs associated with this final rule, the benefit from the final rule is an increase in the efficient use of FSIS resources. FSIS will continue to use the Federal Register to receive and respond to public comments on equivalence determinations, but the notice process will allow FSIS to more efficiently propose and finalize equivalence determinations. FSIS expects that the notice process will take less time than the current rulemaking process. FSIS will also gain efficiency by maintaining a single list of exporting countries on its website, rather than maintaining one list on the website and separate lists in the codified regulations. Regulatory Flexibility Act Assessment The FSIS Administrator certifies that, for the purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–602), this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities in the United States. Under this final rule, the requirements for importing meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States will not change. Thus, no market effect is expected from this final rule. Small entities, therefore, will not bear additional costs, as market factors remain unchanged. Executive Order 13771 Consistent with E.O. 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017), FSIS has E:\FR\FM\27NOR1.SGM 27NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 229 / Wednesday, November 27, 2019 / Rules and Regulations estimated that this final rule will yield cost savings. Therefore, this final rule is an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action. Paperwork Reduction Act FSIS has reviewed the paperwork and recordkeeping requirements in this final rule in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.). Foreign countries seeking to export meat, poultry, or egg products to the United States are required to provide information to FSIS certifying that their inspection systems provide standards equivalent to those of the United States, and that the legal authority for the system and their implementing regulations are equivalent to those of the United States. FSIS provides countries with questionnaires asking for detailed information about the country’s inspection practices and procedures to assist that country in organizing its materials. This information collection was approved under OMB control number 0583–0094. This final rule only affects FSIS’s methods of proposing and finalizing equivalence determination after the Agency has made a preliminary determination. It contains no new or expanded paperwork requirements. Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under this rule: (1) All State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule; and (3) no administrative proceedings will be required before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule. Congressional Review Act Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this rule as not a ‘‘major rule,’’ as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). E-Government Act FSIS and USDA are committed to achieving the purposes of the EGovernment Act (44 U.S.C. 3601, et seq.) by, among other things, promoting the use of the internet and other information technologies and providing increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. Executive Order 13175 This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, ‘‘Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.’’ E.O. 13175 requires VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Nov 26, 2019 Jkt 250001 Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a governmentto-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. FSIS has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule does not, to our knowledge, have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under E.O. 13175. If a Tribe requests consultation, the Food Safety and Inspection Service will work with the Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is provided where changes, additions and modifications identified herein are not expressly mandated by Congress. USDA Non-Discrimination Statement No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/ parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA. How To File a Complaint of Discrimination To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http:// www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/ docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_ 12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative. Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email: Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–9410 Fax: (202) 690–7442 Email: program.intake@usda.gov Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). Additional Public Notification Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 65267 announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS web page located at: http:// www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register. FSIS will also announce and provide a link to it through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Constituent Update is available on the FSIS web page. Through the web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts. List of Subjects 9 CFR Part 310 Animal diseases, Meat inspection. 9 CFR Part 327 Food labeling, Food packaging, Imports, Meat inspection. 9 CFR Part 381 Administrative practice and procedure, Animal diseases, Crime, Exports, Food grades and standards, Food labeling, Food packaging, Government employees, Grant programs-agriculture, Intergovernmental relations, Laboratories, Meat inspection, Nutrition, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), Poultry and poultry products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seizures and forfeitures, Signs and symbols, Technical assistance, Transportation. 9 CFR Part 424 Food additives, Food packaging, Meat inspection, Poultry and poultry products. 9 CFR Part 557 Fish, Food grades and standards, Food labeling, Food packaging, Imports, Seafood. 9 CFR Part 590 Eggs and egg products, Exports, Food grades and standards, Food labeling, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. E:\FR\FM\27NOR1.SGM 27NOR1 65268 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 229 / Wednesday, November 27, 2019 / Rules and Regulations For the reasons set forth in the preamble, FSIS is amending 9 CFR Chapter III as follows: PART 310—POST-MORTEM INSPECTION 1. The authority citation for part 310 continues read as follows: ■ Authority: 21 U.S.C. 601–695; 7 CFR 2.18, 2.53. 2. In § 310.22, revise paragraph (d)(1)(i) to read as follows: ■ § 310.22 Specified risk materials from cattle and their handling and disposition. * * * * * (d) * * * (1) * * * (i) It is derived from cattle that were inspected and passed in an official establishment in the United States or in a certified foreign establishment in a country eligible to export meat and meat products to the United States under 9 CFR 327.2(b) and it is otherwise eligible for importation under 9 CFR 327.1(b), and * * * * * establishments in the United States; or that reliance cannot be placed upon certificates required under this part from authorities of such foreign country; or that, for lack of current information concerning the system of meat inspection being maintained by such foreign country, such foreign country should be required to reestablish its eligibility. (b) A list of countries eligible to export specific process categories of meat and meat food products is maintained at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ importlibrary. Meat and meat food products from listed countries must be accompanied by foreign inspection certificates of the country of origin, as required by § 327.4, and are eligible under the regulations in this subchapter for entry into the United States after inspection and marking as required by the applicable provisions of this part. Fresh, chilled, or frozen or other product from countries in which rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease or African swine fever exist, as provided in part 94 of this title, are ineligible for importation into the United States. PART 381—POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION REGULATIONS PART 327—IMPORTED PRODUCTS 3. The authority citation for part 327 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 21 U.S.C. 601–695; 7 CFR 2.18, 2.53. § 327.2 5. The authority citation for part 381 continues to read as follows: ■ [Amended] Authority: 7 U.S.C. 138f, 450; 21 U.S.C. 451–470; 7 CFR 2.7, 2.18, 2.53. 4. In § 327.2: a. Remove the phrase ‘‘by including the name of such foreign country in’’ and add in its place ‘‘in accordance with’’ in paragraph (a)(1); ■ b. Revise paragraphs (a)(4) and (b); and ■ c. Remove paragraph (c). The revisions read as follows: § 381.145 § 327.2 Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of products into the United States. § 381.195 Definitions; requirements for importation into the United States. ■ ■ 6. In § 381.145, amend paragraph (a) by removing the phrase ‘‘listed in § 381.196(b),’’ and adding in its place ‘‘eligible to export such poultry and poultry products to the United States under § 381.196(b),’’. ■ 7. In § 381.195, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows: ■ (a) * * * (4) Meat and meat food products from foreign countries not deemed eligible in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section are not eligible for importation into the United States, except as provided by § 327.16 or § 327.17. Eligibility of any foreign country under this section may be withdrawn whenever the Administrator determines that the system of meat inspection maintained by such foreign country does not assure compliance with requirements equivalent to all the inspection, building construction standards, and other requirements of the Act and the regulations in this subchapter as applied to official VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Nov 26, 2019 Jkt 250001 [Amended] * * * * * (c) Except as provided in § 381.207, slaughtered poultry and other poultry products may be imported only if they were processed solely in countries found eligible to export poultry products to the United States under § 381.196(b). Slaughtered poultry may be imported only if it qualifies as readyto-cook poultry. § 381.196 [Amended] 8. Amend § 381.196 as follows: a. In paragraph (a)(1), remove the phrase ‘‘by including the name of such foreign country in’’ and add in its place ‘‘in accordance with’’; and ■ b. Revise paragraphs (a)(4) and (b). The revisions read as follows: ■ ■ PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 § 381.196 Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of poultry products into the United States. (a) * * * (4) Poultry products from foreign countries not deemed eligible in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section may not be imported into the United States, except as provided by §§ 381.207 and 381.209. Eligibility of any foreign country under this section may be withdrawn whenever the Administrator determines that the system of poultry inspection maintained by such foreign country does not assure compliance with requirements equivalent to all the requirements of the Act and the regulations as applied to official establishments in the United States; or that reliance cannot be placed upon certificates required under this subpart from authorities of such foreign country; or that, for lack of current information concerning the system of poultry inspection being maintained by such foreign country, such foreign country should be required to reestablish its eligibility. (b) A list of countries eligible to export specific process categories of poultry products to the United States is maintained at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ importlibrary. Such products from listed countries must be accompanied by inspection certificates of the country of origin, as required by § 381.197, and are eligible under the regulations in this subpart for entry into the United States, after inspection and marking as required by the applicable provisions of this subpart. PART 424—PREPARATION AND PROCESSING OPERATIONS 9. The authority citation for part 424 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 138f, 450; 21 U.S.C. 451–470; 7 CFR 2.7, 2.18, 2.53. § 424.21 [Amended] 10. Amend § 424.21 as follows: a. In paragraph (a)(2)(i), remove the phrase ‘‘listed in’’ and add in its place ‘‘determined to be eligible to export such products to the United States under’’; and ■ b. In paragraph (a)(3), remove the phrase ‘‘listed in’’ and add in its place ‘‘determined to be eligible to export such products to the United States under’’. ■ ■ PART 557—IMPORTATION 11. The authority citation for part 557 continues to read as follows: ■ E:\FR\FM\27NOR1.SGM 27NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 229 / Wednesday, November 27, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Authority: 21 U.S.C. 601–602, 606–622, 624–695; 7 CFR 2.7, 2.18, 2.53. 12. In § 557.2, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows: ■ § 557.2 Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of fish and fish products into the United States. * * * * * (b) The countries eligible to export specific process categories of fish and fish products are listed at http:// www.fsis.usda.gov/importlibrary. Such products must be covered by foreign inspection certificates of the country of origin as required by § 557.4. Products from such countries are eligible under the regulations in this subchapter for entry into the United States after inspection and marking as required by the applicable provisions of this part. PART 590—INSPECTION OF EGGS AND EGG PRODUCTS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) 13. The authority citation for part 590 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 21 U.S.C. 1031–1056. Administrator shall review the *COM007*inspection regulations of the foreign country and make a survey to determine the manner in which the inspection system is administered within the foreign country. The survey of the foreign inspection system may be expedited by payment by the interested Government agency in the foreign country of the travel expenses incurred in making the survey. After approval of the inspection system of a foreign country, the Administrator may, as often and to the extent deemed necessary, authorize representatives of the Department to review the system to determine that it is maintained in such a manner as to be the equivalent of the system maintained by the United States. (b) A list of countries eligible to export egg products to the United States is maintained at http:// www.fsis.usda.gov/importlibrary. Done at Washington, DC. Carmen M. Rottenberg, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2019–25750 Filed 11–26–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–DM–P 14. Revise § 590.910 to read as follows: ■ FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION § 590.910 Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of egg products into the United States. (a) Whenever it is determined by the Administrator that the system of egg products inspection maintained by any foreign country is such that the egg products produced in such country are processed, labeled, and packaged in accordance with, and otherwise comply with, the standards of the Act and these regulations including, but not limited to the same sanitary, processing, facility requirements, and continuous Government inspection as required in §§ 590.500 through 590.580 applicable to inspected articles produced within the United States, notice of that fact will be given according to paragraph (b) of this section. Thereafter, egg products from such countries shall be eligible for importation into the United States, subject to the provisions of this part and other applicable laws and regulations. Such products must meet, to the extent applicable, the same standards and requirements that apply to comparable domestic products as set forth in these regulations. Egg products from foreign countries not deemed eligible in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section are not eligible for importation into the United States, except as provided by § 590.960. In determining if the inspection system of a foreign country is the equivalent of the system maintained by the United States, the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Nov 26, 2019 Jkt 250001 12 CFR Part 327 RIN 3064–AF16 Assessments Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is amending the deposit insurance assessment regulations that govern the use of small bank assessment credits (small bank credits) and one-time assessment credits (OTACs) by certain insured depository institutions (IDIs). Under this final rule, now that the FDIC is applying small bank credits to quarterly deposit insurance assessments, such credits will continue to be applied as long as the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) reserve ratio is at least 1.35 percent (instead of, as originally provided, 1.38 percent). In addition, after small bank credits have been applied for four quarterly assessment periods, and as long as the reserve ratio is at least 1.35 percent, the FDIC will remit the full nominal value of any remaining small bank credits in lump-sum payments to each IDI holding such credits in the next assessment period in which the reserve ratio is at least 1.35 percent, and will SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 65269 simultaneously remit the full nominal value of any remaining OTACs in lumpsum payments to each IDI holding such credits. DATES: This final rule is effective November 27, 2019, and is applicable beginning July 1, 2019 (the third quarterly assessment period of 2019). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ashley Mihalik, Chief, Banking and Regulatory Policy Section, Division of Insurance and Research, (202) 898– 3793, amihalik@FDIC.gov; Jithendar Kamuni, Manager, Assessment Operations Section, (703) 562–2568, jikamuni@FDIC.gov; Samuel B. Lutz, Counsel, Legal Division, (202) 898– 3773, salutz@FDIC.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Policy Objectives The FDIC maintains and administers the DIF in order to assure the agency’s capacity to meet its obligations as the insurer of deposits and receiver of failed IDIs.1 The FDIC considers the adequacy of the DIF in terms of the reserve ratio, which is equal to the DIF balance divided by estimated insured deposits. A higher reserve ratio reduces the risk that losses from IDI failures during an economic downturn will exhaust the DIF and also reduces the risk of large, pro-cyclical increases in deposit insurance assessments to maintain a positive DIF balance during such a downturn. The FDIC is amending its regulations governing the use of small bank credits and OTACs.2 As originally adopted, the regulations provided that after the reserve ratio reached or exceeded 1.38 percent, and provided that it remained at or above 1.38 percent,3 the FDIC would automatically apply small bank credits up to the full amount of the IDI’s credits or quarterly assessment, whichever is less.4 Under the final rule, 1 As used in this final rule, the term ‘‘insured depository institution’’ has the same meaning as the definition used in Section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDI Act), 12 U.S.C. 1813(c)(2). 2 See 12 CFR 327.11(c) (use of small bank credits) and 12 CFR 327.35 (use of OTACs). 3 See 83 FR 14565 (April 5, 2018) (making technical amendments to FDIC’s assessment regulations, including an amendment clarifying that small bank credits will be applied in assessment periods in which the reserve ratio is at least 1.38 percent). 4 After the initial notice of an IDI’s assessment credit balance, and the manner in which the credit was calculated, periodic updated notices will be provided to reflect adjustments that may be made as the result of credit use, request for review of credit amounts, any subsequent merger or consolidation. Under the rule, such notices will also reflect adjustments that may be made as a result of an IDI’s amendment to its quarterly Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income or E:\FR\FM\27NOR1.SGM Continued 27NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 229 (Wednesday, November 27, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65265-65269]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-25750]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

9 CFR Parts 310, 327, 381, 424, 557, and 590

[Docket No. FSIS-2018-0027]
RIN 0583-AD72


Publication Method for Lists of Foreign Countries Eligible To 
Export Meat, Poultry, or Egg Products to the United States

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is amending its 
regulations to remove lists of foreign countries eligible to export 
meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States. FSIS will 
maintain a single list of eligible foreign countries on its website. 
The criteria FSIS uses to evaluate whether a foreign country is 
eligible to export meat, poultry, or egg products has not changed. This 
rule will allow FSIS to more efficiently and clearly communicate 
equivalence determinations by maintaining a single list of exporting 
countries on its website, rather than maintaining one list on the 
website and outdated lists in the codified regulations. In addition, 
the Agency is amending it regulations to remove references to the 
lists.

DATES: Effective December 27, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Terri Nintemann, Assistant 
Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development; Telephone: 
(202) 720-0089.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On April 12, 2019, FSIS proposed to amend its regulations to remove 
lists of foreign countries eligible to export meat, poultry, or 
processed egg products to the United States and, instead, maintain such 
lists on its website (84 FR 14894). The proposal noted that it did not 
include any changes to the criteria FSIS uses to evaluate whether a 
foreign country is eligible. The proposal also described how removing 
the lists from the regulations would affect FSIS's process for 
implementing equivalence determinations. Instead of publishing proposed 
and final rules in the Federal Register, FSIS will now implement 
equivalence determinations through Federal Register notices with 
requests for public comment. FSIS will respond to public comments in 
any Federal Register notice that finalizes an equivalence 
determination. FSIS will also use this process when it is necessary to 
terminate the eligibility of a foreign country. This final rule will 
allow FSIS to convey more clearly information on countries' equivalence 
status. Once the rule is in place, the list posted on the website will 
not conflict with any outdated information in the Federal Register. In 
addition to removing the lists from the regulations, the Agency 
proposed to amend six parts of 9 CFR Chapter III (310, 327, 381, 424, 
557, 590) to remove references to the lists.
    After reviewing comments on the proposed rule, FSIS is finalizing 
it without changes, except for non-substantive changes, for clarity, to 
the regulatory language proposed for 9 CFR 327.2(b).

Responses to Comments

    FSIS received 15 comments, from 13 individuals, an industry 
association representing egg processors, and a consumer advocacy 
organization. The issues raised in the comments and the Agency 
responses are summarized below.
    Comments: FSIS received comments relating to the use of online 
lists. One individual questioned the use of online lists as potentially 
confusing or difficult to locate by stakeholders. Another recommended 
that FSIS ensure that the online lists are updated soon after 
determinations are finalized. The consumer advocacy organization 
believed that keeping equivalence determinations on FSIS's website 
could invite hacking or mistakes and expressed concern that some 
individuals do not have access to the internet.
    Response: FSIS does not believe these concerns warrant 
reconsideration of the use of online lists. This rule's amendments to 
the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) direct readers to the web address 
where FSIS maintains the list, www.fsis.usda.gov/importlibrary. FSIS 
will additionally publish notice of equivalence determinations in the 
Federal Register and include links to these determinations in its 
Constituent Update, which is posted weekly on FSIS's website. FSIS will 
ensure that its web content managers update the online lists shortly 
after any final determination is published in the Federal Register. 
FSIS's website is protected to ensure that only authorized users may 
gain access or make changes. The system keeps track of past versions, 
which may be restored if needed. Therefore, no hacking event could 
permanently alter the entries on the lists.
    Comments: The industry group supported the proposed rule, but urged 
FSIS not to weaken its equivalence standards, reduce opportunities for 
public participation, or make any currently public aspects of the 
equivalence process non-public. It also urged FSIS to be more 
transparent in its investigations, audits, and determinations and 
ensure that the offices of the Under Secretary for Food Safety and the 
Secretary of Agriculture provide oversight for equivalence 
determinations. The consumer advocacy organization opposed the proposed 
rule as undermining the importance of equivalence determinations.
    Response: Under this final rule, FSIS is not changing its 
equivalence standards or opportunities for public comment. FSIS will 
continue to maintain the same level of transparency in these 
determinations by publishing its on-site audit reports and allowing for 
public comment on preliminary equivalence determinations. The offices 
of the Under Secretary for Food Safety and the Secretary of Agriculture 
currently review every preliminary and final equivalence determination 
made by FSIS and will continue to do so under this final rule.
    Comments: The industry group also recommended that FSIS create 
specific regulatory requirements establishing a comment period for 
Federal Register notices of equivalence determinations and a provision 
mandating that the Agency will respond to comments in the Federal 
Register. The consumer advocacy organization advocated for a 60-day 
comment period for all

[[Page 65266]]

equivalence determinations, and a minimum 30-day period for any 
rulemaking that removes a country's equivalence.
    Response: Consistent with other Federal agencies, FSIS regulations 
do not establish length of comment periods for any proposal rules. The 
Agency will retain flexibility to set and extend comment periods as 
needed to adequately receive and consider public feedback. Also, 
consistent with other Federal agencies, FSIS regulations do not state 
that FSIS will respond to public comments in a second Federal Register 
notice. That being said, after a preliminary equivalence determination, 
FSIS will publish a Federal Register notice, including the response to 
public comments, to finalize (or decline to finalize) any equivalence 
determination.
    Comment: The industry group sought clarification with regard to the 
FSIS's proposal to amend the current version of the regulations at 9 
CFR 590.910 to remove the list of foreign countries eligible to export 
processed egg products to the United States and instead refer to the 
list of countries eligible to export on the FSIS website. As FSIS 
explained in Footnote 2 of the proposed rule, FSIS already had proposed 
to revise Sec.  590.910 of the regulations in an earlier proposed rule 
concerning egg products (83 FR 6314, February 13, 2018), but only for 
more consistency with the existing regulations for meat and poultry.
    Response: FSIS proposed to amend the version of Sec.  590.910 in 
effect at the time. Because the February 2018 proposed rule regarding 
egg products has not been made final, those regulations are still in 
effect. FSIS is thus amending those regulations, as proposed. If the 
February 2018 rulemaking is made final, its version of Sec.  590.910 
will incorporate the changes made by this final rule regarding the 
listing of foreign countries with equivalent egg products inspection 
systems.
    Comment: The consumer advocacy organization sought clarification on 
the time period before a country would be listed as inactive on FSIS's 
website.
    Response: FSIS states on its website and in instructions to Agency 
personnel that, after three or more years without shipping, a country 
will be considered ``inactive'' and must apply for a reinstatement of 
equivalence. See FSIS Directive 9770.1, Determining Initial and 
Reinstating the Equivalence of Foreign Food Safety Inspection Systems. 
Therefore, consistent with current practice, if a country does not ship 
for three years, FSIS will move the country to the ``inactive'' chart 
on the FSIS website.
    Comment: An individual commenter asked how the rule would promote 
efficiency and if there were other costs to FSIS.
    Response: As FSIS explained in the economic analysis, the change in 
publication method will not create additional costs to FSIS, which will 
continue to implement equivalence determinations through the Federal 
Register. Similarly, there will not be additional costs for industry or 
foreign countries seeking to export to the United States. This final 
rule will allow FSIS to more efficiently propose and finalize 
equivalence determinations without changing the substantive criteria or 
level of evaluation of foreign food safety systems. This will save 
staff time and allow FSIS's list of exporting countries to more quickly 
reflect changes in foreign counties' equivalence status. FSIS will also 
gain efficiency by maintaining a single list of exporting countries on 
its website, rather than maintaining one list on the website and a 
separate list in the codified regulations.
    Comments: The industry group urged FSIS to apply stricter scrutiny 
to foreign food safety systems. It also expressed concern about whether 
the processed egg products system in the Netherlands is genuinely 
equivalent to the U.S. system. An individual commenter suggested that 
imported meat and poultry products be monitored and tested for safety 
by the FDA.
    Response: These comments are outside the scope of this rulemaking, 
which focuses solely on the publication method of lists of foreign 
countries eligible to export meat, poultry, and egg products to the 
United States.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess 
all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 
13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, 
of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 
This final rule has been designated as a ``non-significant'' regulatory 
action under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866. Accordingly, the rule has not 
been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under E.O. 12866.

Expected Costs of the Final Rule

    This final rule doesn't change the requirements for importing meat, 
poultry, and egg products to the United States. FSIS will continue to 
determine whether a foreign country's food safety inspection system for 
meat, poultry, or egg products is equivalent to FSIS's inspection 
system. FSIS will announce the results of equivalence determinations 
through a notice with a request for comments in the Federal Register, 
rather than a proposed rule. In addition, FSIS will continue to assess 
the costs and benefits of new countries becoming eligible to ship 
product to the United States. This change in procedure will not alter 
U.S. production, imports, or consumption; therefore, FSIS does not 
expect a change in U.S. consumer price due to this final rule. The 
change in procedure is also not expected to add any additional cost to 
the countries applying for eligibility to import meat, poultry, and egg 
products to the United States, nor does it add costs to FSIS, or the 
U.S. meat, poultry, or egg products industries.

Expected Cost Savings and Benefits of the Final Rule

    While there are no additional costs associated with this final 
rule, the benefit from the final rule is an increase in the efficient 
use of FSIS resources. FSIS will continue to use the Federal Register 
to receive and respond to public comments on equivalence 
determinations, but the notice process will allow FSIS to more 
efficiently propose and finalize equivalence determinations. FSIS 
expects that the notice process will take less time than the current 
rulemaking process. FSIS will also gain efficiency by maintaining a 
single list of exporting countries on its website, rather than 
maintaining one list on the website and separate lists in the codified 
regulations.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Assessment

    The FSIS Administrator certifies that, for the purposes of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-602), this final rule will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities in the United States. Under this final rule, the requirements 
for importing meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States will 
not change. Thus, no market effect is expected from this final rule. 
Small entities, therefore, will not bear additional costs, as market 
factors remain unchanged.

Executive Order 13771

    Consistent with E.O. 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017), FSIS has

[[Page 65267]]

estimated that this final rule will yield cost savings. Therefore, this 
final rule is an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    FSIS has reviewed the paperwork and recordkeeping requirements in 
this final rule in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 
U.S.C. 3501, et seq.). Foreign countries seeking to export meat, 
poultry, or egg products to the United States are required to provide 
information to FSIS certifying that their inspection systems provide 
standards equivalent to those of the United States, and that the legal 
authority for the system and their implementing regulations are 
equivalent to those of the United States. FSIS provides countries with 
questionnaires asking for detailed information about the country's 
inspection practices and procedures to assist that country in 
organizing its materials. This information collection was approved 
under OMB control number 0583-0094. This final rule only affects FSIS's 
methods of proposing and finalizing equivalence determination after the 
Agency has made a preliminary determination. It contains no new or 
expanded paperwork requirements.

Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. Under this rule: (1) All State and local laws and 
regulations that are inconsistent with this rule will be preempted; (2) 
no retroactive effect will be given to this rule; and (3) no 
administrative proceedings will be required before parties may file 
suit in court challenging this rule.

Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this rule 
as not a ``major rule,'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

E-Government Act

    FSIS and USDA are committed to achieving the purposes of the E-
Government Act (44 U.S.C. 3601, et seq.) by, among other things, 
promoting the use of the internet and other information technologies 
and providing increased opportunities for citizen access to Government 
information and services, and for other purposes.

Executive Order 13175

    This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of 
Executive Order 13175, ``Consultation and Coordination with Indian 
Tribal Governments.'' E.O. 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult 
and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government basis on 
policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, 
legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy 
statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or 
more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government 
and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.
    FSIS has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and 
determined that this rule does not, to our knowledge, have tribal 
implications that require tribal consultation under E.O. 13175. If a 
Tribe requests consultation, the Food Safety and Inspection Service 
will work with the Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful 
consultation is provided where changes, additions and modifications 
identified herein are not expressly mandated by Congress.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds 
of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual 
orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, 
income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, 
exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to 
discrimination any person in the United States under any program or 
activity conducted by the USDA.

How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program 
Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your 
authorized representative.
    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, 
or email:

Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442
Email: [email protected]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for 
communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact 
USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal 
Register publication on-line through the FSIS web page located at: 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.
    FSIS will also announce and provide a link to it through the FSIS 
Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS 
policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS 
public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or 
would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The 
Constituent Update is available on the FSIS web page. Through the web 
page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more 
diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription 
service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food 
safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export 
information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or 
delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password 
protect their accounts.

List of Subjects

9 CFR Part 310

    Animal diseases, Meat inspection.

9 CFR Part 327

    Food labeling, Food packaging, Imports, Meat inspection.

9 CFR Part 381

    Administrative practice and procedure, Animal diseases, Crime, 
Exports, Food grades and standards, Food labeling, Food packaging, 
Government employees, Grant programs-agriculture, Intergovernmental 
relations, Laboratories, Meat inspection, Nutrition, Polychlorinated 
biphenyls (PCB's), Poultry and poultry products, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Seizures and forfeitures, Signs and 
symbols, Technical assistance, Transportation.

9 CFR Part 424

    Food additives, Food packaging, Meat inspection, Poultry and 
poultry products.

9 CFR Part 557

    Fish, Food grades and standards, Food labeling, Food packaging, 
Imports, Seafood.

9 CFR Part 590

    Eggs and egg products, Exports, Food grades and standards, Food 
labeling, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.


[[Page 65268]]


    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, FSIS is amending 9 CFR 
Chapter III as follows:

PART 310--POST-MORTEM INSPECTION

0
1. The authority citation for part 310 continues read as follows:

    Authority:  21 U.S.C. 601-695; 7 CFR 2.18, 2.53.


0
2. In Sec.  310.22, revise paragraph (d)(1)(i) to read as follows:


Sec.  310.22  Specified risk materials from cattle and their handling 
and disposition.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) It is derived from cattle that were inspected and passed in an 
official establishment in the United States or in a certified foreign 
establishment in a country eligible to export meat and meat products to 
the United States under 9 CFR 327.2(b) and it is otherwise eligible for 
importation under 9 CFR 327.1(b), and
* * * * *

PART 327--IMPORTED PRODUCTS

0
3. The authority citation for part 327 continues to read as follows:

     Authority: 21 U.S.C. 601-695; 7 CFR 2.18, 2.53.


Sec.  327.2  [Amended]

0
 4. In Sec.  327.2:
0
a. Remove the phrase ``by including the name of such foreign country 
in'' and add in its place ``in accordance with'' in paragraph (a)(1);
0
 b. Revise paragraphs (a)(4) and (b); and
0
 c. Remove paragraph (c).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  327.2  Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of 
products into the United States.

    (a) * * *
    (4) Meat and meat food products from foreign countries not deemed 
eligible in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section are not 
eligible for importation into the United States, except as provided by 
Sec.  327.16 or Sec.  327.17. Eligibility of any foreign country under 
this section may be withdrawn whenever the Administrator determines 
that the system of meat inspection maintained by such foreign country 
does not assure compliance with requirements equivalent to all the 
inspection, building construction standards, and other requirements of 
the Act and the regulations in this subchapter as applied to official 
establishments in the United States; or that reliance cannot be placed 
upon certificates required under this part from authorities of such 
foreign country; or that, for lack of current information concerning 
the system of meat inspection being maintained by such foreign country, 
such foreign country should be required to reestablish its eligibility.
    (b) A list of countries eligible to export specific process 
categories of meat and meat food products is maintained at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/importlibrary. Meat and meat food products from 
listed countries must be accompanied by foreign inspection certificates 
of the country of origin, as required by Sec.  327.4, and are eligible 
under the regulations in this subchapter for entry into the United 
States after inspection and marking as required by the applicable 
provisions of this part. Fresh, chilled, or frozen or other product 
from countries in which rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease or African 
swine fever exist, as provided in part 94 of this title, are ineligible 
for importation into the United States.

PART 381--POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION REGULATIONS

0
5. The authority citation for part 381 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 138f, 450; 21 U.S.C. 451-470; 7 CFR 2.7, 
2.18, 2.53.


Sec.  381.145  [Amended]

0
6. In Sec.  381.145, amend paragraph (a) by removing the phrase 
``listed in Sec.  381.196(b),'' and adding in its place ``eligible to 
export such poultry and poultry products to the United States under 
Sec.  381.196(b),''.

0
7. In Sec.  381.195, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  381.195  Definitions; requirements for importation into the 
United States.

* * * * *
    (c) Except as provided in Sec.  381.207, slaughtered poultry and 
other poultry products may be imported only if they were processed 
solely in countries found eligible to export poultry products to the 
United States under Sec.  381.196(b). Slaughtered poultry may be 
imported only if it qualifies as ready-to-cook poultry.


Sec.  381.196  [Amended]

0
8. Amend Sec.  381.196 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a)(1), remove the phrase ``by including the name of 
such foreign country in'' and add in its place ``in accordance with''; 
and
0
b. Revise paragraphs (a)(4) and (b).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  381.196  Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of 
poultry products into the United States.

    (a) * * *
    (4) Poultry products from foreign countries not deemed eligible in 
accordance with paragraph (b) of this section may not be imported into 
the United States, except as provided by Sec. Sec.  381.207 and 
381.209. Eligibility of any foreign country under this section may be 
withdrawn whenever the Administrator determines that the system of 
poultry inspection maintained by such foreign country does not assure 
compliance with requirements equivalent to all the requirements of the 
Act and the regulations as applied to official establishments in the 
United States; or that reliance cannot be placed upon certificates 
required under this subpart from authorities of such foreign country; 
or that, for lack of current information concerning the system of 
poultry inspection being maintained by such foreign country, such 
foreign country should be required to reestablish its eligibility.
    (b) A list of countries eligible to export specific process 
categories of poultry products to the United States is maintained at 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/importlibrary. Such products from listed 
countries must be accompanied by inspection certificates of the country 
of origin, as required by Sec.  381.197, and are eligible under the 
regulations in this subpart for entry into the United States, after 
inspection and marking as required by the applicable provisions of this 
subpart.

PART 424--PREPARATION AND PROCESSING OPERATIONS

0
9. The authority citation for part 424 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 138f, 450; 21 U.S.C. 451-470; 7 CFR 2.7, 
2.18, 2.53.


Sec.  424.21  [Amended]

0
10. Amend Sec.  424.21 as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a)(2)(i), remove the phrase ``listed in'' and add in 
its place ``determined to be eligible to export such products to the 
United States under''; and
0
 b. In paragraph (a)(3), remove the phrase ``listed in'' and add in its 
place ``determined to be eligible to export such products to the United 
States under''.

PART 557--IMPORTATION

0
11. The authority citation for part 557 continues to read as follows:


[[Page 65269]]


    Authority:  21 U.S.C. 601-602, 606-622, 624-695; 7 CFR 2.7, 
2.18, 2.53.


0
12. In Sec.  557.2, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  557.2  Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of fish 
and fish products into the United States.

* * * * *
    (b) The countries eligible to export specific process categories of 
fish and fish products are listed at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/importlibrary. Such products must be covered by foreign inspection 
certificates of the country of origin as required by Sec.  557.4. 
Products from such countries are eligible under the regulations in this 
subchapter for entry into the United States after inspection and 
marking as required by the applicable provisions of this part.

PART 590--INSPECTION OF EGGS AND EGG PRODUCTS (EGG PRODUCTS 
INSPECTION ACT)

0
13. The authority citation for part 590 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 21 U.S.C. 1031-1056.


0
14. Revise Sec.  590.910 to read as follows:


Sec.  590.910  Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of egg 
products into the United States.

    (a) Whenever it is determined by the Administrator that the system 
of egg products inspection maintained by any foreign country is such 
that the egg products produced in such country are processed, labeled, 
and packaged in accordance with, and otherwise comply with, the 
standards of the Act and these regulations including, but not limited 
to the same sanitary, processing, facility requirements, and continuous 
Government inspection as required in Sec. Sec.  590.500 through 590.580 
applicable to inspected articles produced within the United States, 
notice of that fact will be given according to paragraph (b) of this 
section. Thereafter, egg products from such countries shall be eligible 
for importation into the United States, subject to the provisions of 
this part and other applicable laws and regulations. Such products must 
meet, to the extent applicable, the same standards and requirements 
that apply to comparable domestic products as set forth in these 
regulations. Egg products from foreign countries not deemed eligible in 
accordance with paragraph (b) of this section are not eligible for 
importation into the United States, except as provided by Sec.  
590.960. In determining if the inspection system of a foreign country 
is the equivalent of the system maintained by the United States, the 
Administrator shall review the *COM007*inspection regulations of the 
foreign country and make a survey to determine the manner in which the 
inspection system is administered within the foreign country. The 
survey of the foreign inspection system may be expedited by payment by 
the interested Government agency in the foreign country of the travel 
expenses incurred in making the survey. After approval of the 
inspection system of a foreign country, the Administrator may, as often 
and to the extent deemed necessary, authorize representatives of the 
Department to review the system to determine that it is maintained in 
such a manner as to be the equivalent of the system maintained by the 
United States.
    (b) A list of countries eligible to export egg products to the 
United States is maintained at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/importlibrary.
    Done at Washington, DC.

Carmen M. Rottenberg,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-25750 Filed 11-26-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P