Availability of FSIS Import Guidance, 60126-60129 [2020-21061]

Download as PDF 60126 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 186 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 / Notices Total Burden Hours: 438,719. Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–21069 Filed 9–23–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request September 21, 2020. The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104–13. Comments are required regarding; whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments regarding this information collection received by October 26, 2020 will be considered. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be submitted within 30 days of the publication of this notice on the following website www.reginfo.gov/ public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting ‘‘Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments’’ or by using the search function. An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Farm Service Agency Title: Transfer of Farm Records Between Counties. OMB Control Number: 0560–0253. Summary of Collection: Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs are administered on the basis of ‘‘farm’’. For VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Sep 23, 2020 Jkt 250001 program purposes, a farm is a collection of tracts of land that have the same owner and the same operator. Land with different owners may be considered to be a farm if all the land is operated by one person and additional criteria are met. A farm is typically administered in the FSA county office where the farm is physically located. A farm can be transferred from the physical location county office if the principal dwelling of the farm operator has changed, a change has occurred in the operation of the land, or there has been a change that would cause the receiving administrative county office to be more accessible. FSA–179, ‘‘Transfer of Farm Record between Counties,’’ is used as the request for a farm transfer from one county to another initiated by the producer. Need and Use of the Information: The information collected on the FSA–179 is collected only if a farm transfer is being requested and is collected in a face-toface setting with county office personnel. The information is used by county office employees to document which farm is being transferred, what county it is being transferred to, and why it is being transferred. The FSA– 179 assists county committees in determining why the farm transfer is being requested and that it is not being requested for the purpose of increased program benefits, avoiding payment reductions, establishing eligibility to transfer base acres, or for circumventing any other programs provision. Without the information county offices will be unable to determine whether the producer desires to transfer a farm. Description of Respondents: Farms. Number of Respondents: 21,240. Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion. Total Burden Hours: 3,540. Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–21094 Filed 9–23–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–05–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS–2020–0016] Availability of FSIS Import Guidance Food Safety and Inspection Service, Agriculture (USDA). ACTION: Notice of availability and response to comments. AGENCY: In July 2017, FSIS published and requested comment on guidance for SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 importing meat, poultry, and egg products into the United States. FSIS is announcing updates to this guidance and responding to comments received on the guidance. FSIS intends for this guidance to help U.S. importers, customs brokers, official import inspection establishments, and other interested persons understand and comply with FSIS import requirements. The guidance represents current FSIS thinking, and FSIS will update it as necessary to reflect comments received and any additional information that becomes available. ADDRESSES: A downloadable version of the FSIS import guidance is available to view and print at https:// www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/ topics/regulatory-compliance/ guidelines. No hard copies of the compliance guideline have been published. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rachel Edelstein, Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development by telephone at (202) 205–0495. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health regulatory agency responsible for ensuring that domestic and imported meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. FSIS inspects imported meat, poultry, and egg products under the authority of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (15 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.). Imported meat, poultry, and egg products must originate from eligible countries and from establishments or plants (for egg products) that are certified to export to the United States (21 U.S.C. 620, 466, and 1046). A country becomes eligible following an equivalence determination process completed by FSIS in coordination with the country’s central competent authority (CCA). Foreign establishments or plants become eligible when the CCA certifies to FSIS that the establishments or plants meet requirements that are equivalent to FSIS requirements. All imported shipments of meat, poultry, and egg products must be presented to FSIS for inspection, with certain exceptions, as detailed in the guidance (i.e., a meat, poultry, or dried egg products shipment that does not exceed 50 pounds, or a liquid egg products shipment that does not exceed E:\FR\FM\24SEN1.SGM 24SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 186 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 / Notices 30 pounds, for personal consumption only). Updated Guidance On July 7, 2017, FSIS announced the availability of and requested comments on import guidance that summarized existing requirements for importing meat, poultry, and egg products into the U.S. and best practices for complying with those requirements (82 FR 31549). FSIS has updated the guidance based on comments received. Specifically, FSIS revised and reorganized a section on industry supply chain best practices; clarified approaches to levels of reinspection; added information about generic labeling approvals, food defense, slaughter dates on import certification, and barcoding; and made minor editorial changes to improve the guidance’s clarity. This guidance represents current FSIS thinking, and FSIS will update it as necessary to reflect comments received and any additional information that becomes available. The updated guidance is posted at: https:// www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/ topics/regulatory-compliance/ guidelines. Comments and Responses FSIS received public comments from one trade association and two non-profit consumer groups. The following is a summary of the comments and the Agency’s responses. Product Lot Grouping & Certification Comment: The trade association asked that FSIS use an updated FSIS import application and ‘‘physical manifest’’ as a cross-reference when lots on the foreign inspection certificate and import inspection application misalign. Response: FSIS regulations require that foreign inspection certificates accompany each consignment of meat, poultry, or egg products offered for import into the United States and thoroughly identify the product (by species, process category, number of units, lot weight, etc.) certified by the foreign CCA as meeting all applicable FSIS requirements (9 CFR 327.4, 381.197, 557.4, and 590.915). Thus, the foreign inspection certificate is the primary lotting reference for FSIS import inspectors. FSIS acknowledges the importance of complete import documentation for meeting all commercial and government requirements, but the import inspection application and a ‘‘physical manifest’’ are not adequate to rectify misaligned lotting. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Sep 23, 2020 Jkt 250001 Barcoding Comment: A trade association requested that the guidance reference the use of barcodes as an alternative identifier when shipping marks are missing or illegible and recommended that the guidance include a link to FSIS instructions on this topic. Response: FSIS agrees with this recommendation. The use of barcodes is currently an option when shipping marks are missing or completely illegible and FSIS has updated the guidance to note this option. To use the barcode option, countries must first submit a barcoding plan to FSIS to be approved for this process, so that FSIS can verify that imported products meet requirements. FSIS is currently engaging with countries and industry to develop and verify alternative identification (e.g., barcode) processes. FSIS is also implementing a pilot to apply the official import mark of inspection to imported product (currently for raw meat shipments exported to the United States from participating establishments in Australia) using barcodes instead of shipping marks on shipping containers. Level of Reinspection (LOR) Applicability Comment: The trade association requested clarification on whether levels of reinspection (LOR), such as normal, increased, or intensified, apply to lab sampling only, or other types of inspection (TOI) also (physical exams, container condition, etc.). Response: Normal, increased, and intensified LORs can apply to any TOI. FSIS clarified this in the guidance. Sampling Comment: The trade association asked whether imported products shipped after a related shipment fails a specific lab analysis would be subject only to intensified sampling for the same lab analysis, or the full range of TOI (e.g., product exam, condition of container, sampling, etc.). Response: Future associated shipments are subject only to the specific TOI failed in the original shipment. FSIS has clarified this in the guidance. Generic Labeling Comment: A trade association and non-profit consumer group requested guidance about how generic labeling approval (i.e., labeling that does not need to be submitted to FSIS for review) would be applied to imported shipments. Response: Any entity responsible for designing or modifying meat or poultry labels may use generic approval of PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60127 labels, including foreign exporters and U.S. importers, provided the label is eligible for generic labeling approval. In August 2017, FSIS published a compliance guide on generic labeling to assist industry in realizing the efficiencies of generic labeling. The guideline is available at https:// www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/ topics/regulatory-compliance/labeling. FSIS also held a webinar for trading partners, foreign exporters, and U.S. importers in February 2018 to provide guidance on generic labeling (https:// www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/ newsroom/meetings/newsletters/ constituent-updates/archive/2018/ ConstUpdate011218). FSIS updated the import guidance to indicate that the generic labeling approval process applies to labels from foreign establishments, provided the label is eligible for generic labeling approval. Tray Packs and Palletized Shipments Comment: A non-profit consumer group requested information on labeling requirements for imported tray packs and single pallets in the guidance document, and a trade association requested that FSIS consider expanding its policy of permitting application of shipping marks to the outside of pallets in certain cases to include shipments destined for processing as an intact unit. The trade association noted that, currently, palletized, consumerpackaged, fully marked and labeled products may be presented with the shipping mark and shipping container label applied to the outside of the pallet, rather than to individual tray packs or cartons, when only one type and size of product is presented as a lot, and the entire pallet will be distributed to retail or the end user as an intact unit. Response: This proposal is currently under consideration within FSIS but is outside the scope of this guidance. Imported tray packs are subject to immediate container labeling requirements found in 9 CFR 327.14. Pallets are subject to labeling requirements if the pallets themselves are the outside or shipping container (e.g., shrink-wrapped pallet) of the shipment (9 CFR 327.15, 9 CFR 301.2). Regarding an expansion of the policy allowing the shipping or identification mark and label on pallets of the products referenced above, FSIS is considering the proposal for the shipping or identification mark and label to be applied to the outside of pallets of product destined for further processing as an intact unit. E:\FR\FM\24SEN1.SGM 24SEN1 60128 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 186 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 / Notices Cooked Meat/Poultry Requirements Comment: A non-profit consumer group requested that FSIS include requirements for imported cooked meat and poultry from countries with exotic animal disease outbreaks in the guidance document. Response: Animal disease restrictions are under the jurisdiction of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and can be found in 9 CFR part 94. Since announcing the draft import guidance, FSIS has published a new Import Library on its website. The Import Library provides links to country-specific pages for equivalent countries that can export to the United States detailing the eligible species, process categories, product categories, and product groups the country can export. The information detailed on the country-specific pages aligns with the FSIS product categorization guide and the Public Health Information System (PHIS) (https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/ wcm/connect/abbf595d-7fc7-4170-b7be37f812882388/ProductCategorization.pdf?MOD=AJPERES). Each eligible country page will also list any applicable APHIS animal disease restrictions, and includes direct, disease-specific links to APHIS’ website and regulations. FSIS has updated the import guidance to include reference to the Import Library, which can be found online at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/ wps/portal/fsis/topics/internationalaffairs/importing-products/eligiblecountries-products-foreignestablishments/eligible-countries-andproducts. Imported Carcasses Comment: A non-profit consumer group requested FSIS include requirements for reinspecting imported carcasses in the guidance document. Response: Section VI of FSIS Directive 9900.2, available at https:// www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/ e262834a-80f7-4502-bf1d1a79b03899cd/ 9900.2.pdf?MOD=AJPERES, includes FSIS inspection program personnel (IPP) instructions for reinspecting imported carcasses. FSIS did not update the import guidance with this information because this guidance is intended for importers and foreign countries, not FSIS inspection program personnel. Prohibiting Imports of Beef Derived From Cattle Subject to Certain PreSlaughter Restraints Comment: A non-profit consumer group requested that FSIS prohibit the import of beef from cattle slaughtered VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Sep 23, 2020 Jkt 250001 using ‘‘shackle/hoist’’ and ‘‘shackle/ drag’’ methods, which are not permitted in the United States, specifically from South American countries. Response: Prohibiting entry of a product derived from a specific method of slaughter is a matter of equivalence, not import inspection. Equivalence is the process of determining whether a country’s food safety inspection system achieves FSIS’s appropriate level of public health protection as applied domestically in the United States. Additionally, the foreign food safety inspection system is to provide standards equivalent to FSIS to ensure other non-food safety requirements (such as humane handling, accurate labeling, and assurance that meat, poultry, or egg products are not economically adulterated) are met. As part of the equivalence process, FSIS completes a review of a country’s laws, regulations, policies, and procedures pertaining to its food safety inspection. This review includes assessment of humane handling and slaughter, animal disease restrictions, and postmortem inspection. FSIS assesses the supporting documents to determine whether each country’s food safety inspection system provide standards equivalent to FSIS regarding these and other factors of inspection. If FSIS concludes that these documents support that the country maintains a food safety inspection system that provides an equivalent level of protection, then FSIS conducts an onsite verification audit of the country’s food safety inspection system. The purpose of the audit is to verify that the inspection system is implementing its laws, regulations, policies, and procedures as described in its documents. Information on the equivalence process is available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/ fsis/topics/international-affairs/ Equivalence/equivalence-processoverview. At the time of this Notice, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay are South American countries that maintain equivalence with the United States for certain meat products. FSIS auditors have determined that slaughter establishments that produce eligible meat products in these countries comply with the animal welfare, humane slaughter, and postmortem inspection requirements of the government’s requirements, which are equivalent to FSIS requirements. FSIS Changes Based on further internal review, FSIS has updated the guidance as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Slaughter dates: FSIS added language to reflect that slaughter dates may be required on the official inspection certificate when FSIS has first determined that a country’s system is equivalent to the United States, or FSIS reinstates a country’s equivalence status. Reinspection failures and appeals: FSIS added language to clarify the existing policy on intensified rates of reinspection when a shipment fails reinspection, to align with current PHIS programming. FSIS also added a subsection for establishment appeals of inspection decisions. Equivalence page: FSIS has updated links in the guidance to the current FSIS equivalence page. Food defense: FIS has added a section on food defense. Industry Supply Chain Best Practices: FSIS has expanded and revised the industry supply chain best practices section. Siluriformes: FSIS has added regulatory references for Siluriformes throughout the guidance. Congressional Review Act Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act at 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this notice is not a ‘‘major rule,’’ as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Additional Public Notification Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication online through the FSIS web page located at: http:// www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register. FSIS also will make copies of this publication available 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 E:\FR\FM\24SEN1.SGM 24SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 186 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 / Notices option to password protect their accounts. 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). Done at Washington, DC. Paul Kiecker, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2020–21061 Filed 9–23–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–DM–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Forest Service Manual 7700 Travel Management; Chapter 7700, Zero Code; Chapter 7710 Travel Planning Forest Service, Agriculture (USDA). ACTION: Notice of availability for public comment. AGENCY: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, is proposing to revise its directives to update and clarify guidance on management of electric bicycle (e-bike) use on National Forest System (NFS) lands. E-bikes have become increasingly popular nationwide among outdoor recreationists on NFS and other federal SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Sep 23, 2020 Jkt 250001 lands. E-bikes expand recreational opportunities for many people, particularly the elderly and disabled, enabling them to enjoy the outdoors and associated health benefits. Currently ebike use is not allowed on NFS roads, on NFS trails, and in areas on NFS lands that are not designated for motor vehicle use. To promote designation of NFS roads, NFS trails, and areas on NFS lands for e-bike use, the proposed revisions include new definitions for an e-bike and a Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 e-bike, as well as guidance and criteria for designating e-bike use on NFS roads, on NFS trails, and in areas on NFS lands. DATES: Comments must be received in writing by October 26, 2020. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted electronically to https:// cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ ReadingRoom?project=ORMS-2619. Written comments may be mailed to Director, Recreation Staff, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–1124. All timely received comments, including names and addresses, will be placed in the record and will be available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at https:// cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ CommentInput?project=ORMS-2619. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Penny Wu, Recreation Staff, penny.wu@ usda.gov, (303) 275–5168. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Over 27 States have adopted a standard definition for an e-bike and a threetiered classification system for e-bikes. Additionally, the United States Department of the Interior (DOI) recently issued proposed e-bike rules for the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the National Park Service pursuant to a Secretarial Order that promotes e-bike use on DOImanaged federal lands. The Forest Service’s proposed directive revisions align with the 27 States and DOI’s proposed e-bike rules in adopting a standard definition for an e-bike and a three-tiered classification for e-bikes and align with DOI’s proposed e-bike rules in requiring sitespecific decision-making and environmental analysis at the local level to allow e-bike use. In particular, the proposed revisions would add a paragraph to Forest Service Manual (FSM) 7702 to establish promotion of e- PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60129 bike use on NFS lands as an objective; would add a cross-reference in FSM 7703.13 and 7703.14 to specific guidance on designating NFS trails and areas on NFS lands for motor vehicle use; would add definitions in FSM 7705 for ‘‘bicycle’’ and ‘‘e-bike,’’ including ‘‘Class 1,’’ ‘‘Class 2,’’ and ‘‘Class 3 ebike’’; would revise FSM 7711.3, paragraph 6, to add a category for designating e-bike use on NFS trails; would add a paragraph to FSM 7715.03 to establish promotion of e-bike use on NFS lands as a policy; would revise FSM 7715.5 to add a criterion to consider trail management objectives in designating trails for motor vehicle use generally and to add criteria and guidance for designating e-bike use on NFS trails; and to add a paragraph in FSM 7715.72 to enhance coordination with appropriate Federal, State, and local governmental entities and Tribal governments on travel management decisions and operational practices on routes crossing multiple jurisdictions to provide continuity of recreation experiences. After the public comment period closes, the Forest Service will consider timely comments that are within the scope of the proposed revisions to the directives in the development of the final revisions. A notice of the final revisions, including a response to timely comments, will be posted on the Forest Service’s web page at https:// www.fs.fed.us/about-agency/ regulations-policies. Tina Johna Terrell, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2020–21128 Filed 9–23–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Hawai1i Advisory Committee; Correction Commission on Civil Rights. Notice; correction. AGENCY: ACTION: The Commission on Civil Rights published a notice in the Federal Register on Friday, September 18, 2020, concerning a meeting of the Hawai1i Advisory Committee. The document contained an incorrect day of the week, which now has changed to Monday the correct day of the week. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Angelica Trevino, (202) 695–8935, atrevino@usccr.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\24SEN1.SGM 24SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 186 (Thursday, September 24, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60126-60129]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-21061]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. FSIS-2020-0016]


Availability of FSIS Import Guidance

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, Agriculture (USDA).

ACTION: Notice of availability and response to comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In July 2017, FSIS published and requested comment on guidance 
for importing meat, poultry, and egg products into the United States. 
FSIS is announcing updates to this guidance and responding to comments 
received on the guidance. FSIS intends for this guidance to help U.S. 
importers, customs brokers, official import inspection establishments, 
and other interested persons understand and comply with FSIS import 
requirements. The guidance represents current FSIS thinking, and FSIS 
will update it as necessary to reflect comments received and any 
additional information that becomes available.

ADDRESSES:  A downloadable version of the FSIS import guidance is 
available to view and print at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/guidelines. No hard copies of the 
compliance guideline have been published.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rachel Edelstein, Assistant 
Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development by telephone at 
(202) 205-0495.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and 
Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health regulatory agency 
responsible for ensuring that domestic and imported meat, poultry, and 
egg products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. 
FSIS inspects imported meat, poultry, and egg products under the 
authority of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451 et 
seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (15 U.S.C. 1031 et 
seq.). Imported meat, poultry, and egg products must originate from 
eligible countries and from establishments or plants (for egg products) 
that are certified to export to the United States (21 U.S.C. 620, 466, 
and 1046). A country becomes eligible following an equivalence 
determination process completed by FSIS in coordination with the 
country's central competent authority (CCA). Foreign establishments or 
plants become eligible when the CCA certifies to FSIS that the 
establishments or plants meet requirements that are equivalent to FSIS 
requirements. All imported shipments of meat, poultry, and egg products 
must be presented to FSIS for inspection, with certain exceptions, as 
detailed in the guidance (i.e., a meat, poultry, or dried egg products 
shipment that does not exceed 50 pounds, or a liquid egg products 
shipment that does not exceed

[[Page 60127]]

30 pounds, for personal consumption only).

Updated Guidance

    On July 7, 2017, FSIS announced the availability of and requested 
comments on import guidance that summarized existing requirements for 
importing meat, poultry, and egg products into the U.S. and best 
practices for complying with those requirements (82 FR 31549). FSIS has 
updated the guidance based on comments received. Specifically, FSIS 
revised and reorganized a section on industry supply chain best 
practices; clarified approaches to levels of reinspection; added 
information about generic labeling approvals, food defense, slaughter 
dates on import certification, and barcoding; and made minor editorial 
changes to improve the guidance's clarity.
    This guidance represents current FSIS thinking, and FSIS will 
update it as necessary to reflect comments received and any additional 
information that becomes available. The updated guidance is posted at: 
https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/guidelines.

Comments and Responses

    FSIS received public comments from one trade association and two 
non-profit consumer groups. The following is a summary of the comments 
and the Agency's responses.

Product Lot Grouping & Certification

    Comment: The trade association asked that FSIS use an updated FSIS 
import application and ``physical manifest'' as a cross-reference when 
lots on the foreign inspection certificate and import inspection 
application misalign.
    Response: FSIS regulations require that foreign inspection 
certificates accompany each consignment of meat, poultry, or egg 
products offered for import into the United States and thoroughly 
identify the product (by species, process category, number of units, 
lot weight, etc.) certified by the foreign CCA as meeting all 
applicable FSIS requirements (9 CFR 327.4, 381.197, 557.4, and 
590.915). Thus, the foreign inspection certificate is the primary 
lotting reference for FSIS import inspectors. FSIS acknowledges the 
importance of complete import documentation for meeting all commercial 
and government requirements, but the import inspection application and 
a ``physical manifest'' are not adequate to rectify misaligned lotting.

Barcoding

    Comment: A trade association requested that the guidance reference 
the use of barcodes as an alternative identifier when shipping marks 
are missing or illegible and recommended that the guidance include a 
link to FSIS instructions on this topic.
    Response: FSIS agrees with this recommendation. The use of barcodes 
is currently an option when shipping marks are missing or completely 
illegible and FSIS has updated the guidance to note this option. To use 
the barcode option, countries must first submit a barcoding plan to 
FSIS to be approved for this process, so that FSIS can verify that 
imported products meet requirements. FSIS is currently engaging with 
countries and industry to develop and verify alternative identification 
(e.g., barcode) processes. FSIS is also implementing a pilot to apply 
the official import mark of inspection to imported product (currently 
for raw meat shipments exported to the United States from participating 
establishments in Australia) using barcodes instead of shipping marks 
on shipping containers.

Level of Reinspection (LOR) Applicability

    Comment: The trade association requested clarification on whether 
levels of reinspection (LOR), such as normal, increased, or 
intensified, apply to lab sampling only, or other types of inspection 
(TOI) also (physical exams, container condition, etc.).
    Response: Normal, increased, and intensified LORs can apply to any 
TOI. FSIS clarified this in the guidance.

Sampling

    Comment: The trade association asked whether imported products 
shipped after a related shipment fails a specific lab analysis would be 
subject only to intensified sampling for the same lab analysis, or the 
full range of TOI (e.g., product exam, condition of container, 
sampling, etc.).
    Response: Future associated shipments are subject only to the 
specific TOI failed in the original shipment. FSIS has clarified this 
in the guidance.

Generic Labeling

    Comment: A trade association and non-profit consumer group 
requested guidance about how generic labeling approval (i.e., labeling 
that does not need to be submitted to FSIS for review) would be applied 
to imported shipments.
    Response: Any entity responsible for designing or modifying meat or 
poultry labels may use generic approval of labels, including foreign 
exporters and U.S. importers, provided the label is eligible for 
generic labeling approval. In August 2017, FSIS published a compliance 
guide on generic labeling to assist industry in realizing the 
efficiencies of generic labeling. The guideline is available at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/labeling. FSIS also held a webinar for trading partners, foreign 
exporters, and U.S. importers in February 2018 to provide guidance on 
generic labeling (https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings/newsletters/constituent-updates/archive/2018/ConstUpdate011218). FSIS updated the import guidance to indicate that 
the generic labeling approval process applies to labels from foreign 
establishments, provided the label is eligible for generic labeling 
approval.

Tray Packs and Palletized Shipments

    Comment: A non-profit consumer group requested information on 
labeling requirements for imported tray packs and single pallets in the 
guidance document, and a trade association requested that FSIS consider 
expanding its policy of permitting application of shipping marks to the 
outside of pallets in certain cases to include shipments destined for 
processing as an intact unit. The trade association noted that, 
currently, palletized, consumer-packaged, fully marked and labeled 
products may be presented with the shipping mark and shipping container 
label applied to the outside of the pallet, rather than to individual 
tray packs or cartons, when only one type and size of product is 
presented as a lot, and the entire pallet will be distributed to retail 
or the end user as an intact unit.
    Response: This proposal is currently under consideration within 
FSIS but is outside the scope of this guidance. Imported tray packs are 
subject to immediate container labeling requirements found in 9 CFR 
327.14. Pallets are subject to labeling requirements if the pallets 
themselves are the outside or shipping container (e.g., shrink-wrapped 
pallet) of the shipment (9 CFR 327.15, 9 CFR 301.2). Regarding an 
expansion of the policy allowing the shipping or identification mark 
and label on pallets of the products referenced above, FSIS is 
considering the proposal for the shipping or identification mark and 
label to be applied to the outside of pallets of product destined for 
further processing as an intact unit.

[[Page 60128]]

Cooked Meat/Poultry Requirements

    Comment: A non-profit consumer group requested that FSIS include 
requirements for imported cooked meat and poultry from countries with 
exotic animal disease outbreaks in the guidance document.
    Response: Animal disease restrictions are under the jurisdiction of 
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and can be found 
in 9 CFR part 94. Since announcing the draft import guidance, FSIS has 
published a new Import Library on its website. The Import Library 
provides links to country-specific pages for equivalent countries that 
can export to the United States detailing the eligible species, process 
categories, product categories, and product groups the country can 
export. The information detailed on the country-specific pages aligns 
with the FSIS product categorization guide and the Public Health 
Information System (PHIS) (https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/abbf595d-7fc7-4170-b7be-37f812882388/Product-Categorization.pdf?MOD=AJPERES).
    Each eligible country page will also list any applicable APHIS 
animal disease restrictions, and includes direct, disease-specific 
links to APHIS' website and regulations. FSIS has updated the import 
guidance to include reference to the Import Library, which can be found 
online at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/importing-products/eligible-countries-products-foreign-establishments/eligible-countries-and-products.

Imported Carcasses

    Comment: A non-profit consumer group requested FSIS include 
requirements for reinspecting imported carcasses in the guidance 
document.
    Response: Section VI of FSIS Directive 9900.2, available at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/e262834a-80f7-4502-bf1d-1a79b03899cd/9900.2.pdf?MOD=AJPERES, includes FSIS inspection program 
personnel (IPP) instructions for reinspecting imported carcasses. FSIS 
did not update the import guidance with this information because this 
guidance is intended for importers and foreign countries, not FSIS 
inspection program personnel.

Prohibiting Imports of Beef Derived From Cattle Subject to Certain Pre-
Slaughter Restraints

    Comment: A non-profit consumer group requested that FSIS prohibit 
the import of beef from cattle slaughtered using ``shackle/hoist'' and 
``shackle/drag'' methods, which are not permitted in the United States, 
specifically from South American countries.
    Response: Prohibiting entry of a product derived from a specific 
method of slaughter is a matter of equivalence, not import inspection. 
Equivalence is the process of determining whether a country's food 
safety inspection system achieves FSIS's appropriate level of public 
health protection as applied domestically in the United States. 
Additionally, the foreign food safety inspection system is to provide 
standards equivalent to FSIS to ensure other non-food safety 
requirements (such as humane handling, accurate labeling, and assurance 
that meat, poultry, or egg products are not economically adulterated) 
are met.
    As part of the equivalence process, FSIS completes a review of a 
country's laws, regulations, policies, and procedures pertaining to its 
food safety inspection. This review includes assessment of humane 
handling and slaughter, animal disease restrictions, and postmortem 
inspection. FSIS assesses the supporting documents to determine whether 
each country's food safety inspection system provide standards 
equivalent to FSIS regarding these and other factors of inspection. If 
FSIS concludes that these documents support that the country maintains 
a food safety inspection system that provides an equivalent level of 
protection, then FSIS conducts an on-site verification audit of the 
country's food safety inspection system. The purpose of the audit is to 
verify that the inspection system is implementing its laws, 
regulations, policies, and procedures as described in its documents. 
Information on the equivalence process is available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/Equivalence/equivalence-process-overview.
    At the time of this Notice, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay 
are South American countries that maintain equivalence with the United 
States for certain meat products. FSIS auditors have determined that 
slaughter establishments that produce eligible meat products in these 
countries comply with the animal welfare, humane slaughter, and 
postmortem inspection requirements of the government's requirements, 
which are equivalent to FSIS requirements.

FSIS Changes

    Based on further internal review, FSIS has updated the guidance as 
follows:
    Slaughter dates: FSIS added language to reflect that slaughter 
dates may be required on the official inspection certificate when FSIS 
has first determined that a country's system is equivalent to the 
United States, or FSIS reinstates a country's equivalence status.
    Reinspection failures and appeals: FSIS added language to clarify 
the existing policy on intensified rates of reinspection when a 
shipment fails reinspection, to align with current PHIS programming. 
FSIS also added a sub-section for establishment appeals of inspection 
decisions.
    Equivalence page: FSIS has updated links in the guidance to the 
current FSIS equivalence page.
    Food defense: FIS has added a section on food defense.
    Industry Supply Chain Best Practices: FSIS has expanded and revised 
the industry supply chain best practices section.
    Siluriformes: FSIS has added regulatory references for Siluriformes 
throughout the guidance.

Congressional Review Act

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

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal 
Register publication online through the FSIS web page located at: 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.
    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available 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

[[Page 60129]]

option to password protect their accounts.

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).

    Done at Washington, DC.
Paul Kiecker,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2020-21061 Filed 9-23-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P