7 CFR § 62.200 - Services.
Services shall be based upon the authorities under the Act and applicable standards prescribed by USDA, the laws of the State where the particular product was produced, specifications of any governmental agency, voluntary audit program requirements in effect under federal marketing orders and/or agreements, written buyer and seller contract specifications, service documentation, or any written specification by an applicant. Services are administered through voluntary, fee-for-service, audit-based programs by AMS auditor(s) and other USDA officials under this part. Services authorized under this part, and programs administered under such, shall include:
(a) Quality Systems Verification Programs. Quality Systems Verification Programs (QSVP) assess an applicant's business (quality) management system of program documentation and program processes regarding quality of products. Such programs include, but are not limited to:
(1) Food Safety Management Systems. A formalized system of documents, processes, procedures, and responsibilities for preventing foodborne illnesses.
(i) Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). A formalized system of documents, processes, and procedures used by primary producers to minimize the risk of contamination during the production, harvesting, and handling of crops.
(ii) GroupGAP. A quality management system approach to GAP certification undertaken by a group of producers.
(iii) Good Manufacturing Practices. A formalized system of documents, processes, and procedures used to ensure that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards and regulatory requirements.
(2) Export Certification Program. A formalized system of documents, processes, and procedures used to validate that a given product meets the specific requirements of a foreign country, in addition to applicable Federal requirements.
(4) USDA Quality Assessment Program. A quality management system verification service that is designed to aid in the marketing of products that have undergone specific processes and is limited in scope to those specific items associated with the product or process.
(i) Export Verification Programs. A formalized system of documents, processes and procedures used to validate specific requirements of a foreign country are being met, in addition to applicable Federal requirements.
(5) USDA Accredited Seed Program. A specialized quality management system verification service for the seed industry that offers applicants a way to market their product using industry-recognized processes, rules, and standards.
(b) Audit Verification Programs. Audit verification programs assess an applicant's documentation of its business management system with regard to the production or handling of products. Such programs include, but are not limited to:
(1) Food Defense Verification Program. A service that evaluates operators of food establishments that maintain documented and operational food defense measures to minimize the risk of tampering or other malicious criminal actions against the food under their control.
(2) Domestic Origin Verification. A service that evaluates a farm's and/or a facility's ability to maintain processes, procedures, and records to demonstrate products are grown in the United States of America, its territories, or possessions.
(3) Plant System Audit. A service that evaluates the ability of operators of food establishments to implement a sanitation program and/or requirement outlined in good manufacturing practices regulations.
(4) Audits performed for other government agencies. A service that provides quality-based audit services to, and performs audits for, other government agencies, such as the Department of Defense or the U.S. Aid Agency for International Development, under the Economy Act (31 U.S.C. 1535).
(5) Export Audit Programs. An audit intended to ensure that information submitted for an export certificate request is complete, accurate, and in compliance with the export certification program. In some cases, these requirements may include compliance with country-specific attestations or product requirements.
(6) Child Nutrition Labeling Program. An audit intended to ensure manufacturers properly apply and document effective procedures to monitor and control the production of their Child Nutrition products.
(c) Accreditation Programs. Accreditation programs include voluntary, user-fee accreditation services performed by a USDA evaluator or accreditation body to conduct assessments of applicant programs, services, facilities or equipment, and their ability to achieve planned results. Such programs include, but are not limited to:
(1) USDA ISO Guide 17065 Program. A service that assesses certification bodies to determine conformance to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Guide 17065. These assessments are available to U.S. and international certification bodies operating a third-party certification system that perform conformity assessment activities.
(2) Laboratory Approval Programs. Laboratories are approved, or accredited, to perform testing services in support of domestic and international trade. At the request of industry, other Federal Agencies, or foreign governments, USDA administers programs to verify that the analysis of food and agricultural products meets country and customer-specific requirements and that the testing of marketed products is conducted by qualified and approved laboratories.
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