9 CFR § 381.196 - Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of poultry products into the United States.
(1) Whenever it shall be determined by the Administrator that the system of poultry inspection maintained by any foreign country, with respect to establishments preparing products in such country for export to the United States, insures compliance of such establishments and their poultry products, with requirements equivalent to all the provisions of the Act and the regulations in this part which are applied to official establishments in the United States, and their poultry products, and that reliance can be placed upon certificates required under this subpart from authorities of such foreign country, notice of that fact will be given in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. Thereafter, poultry products processed in such establishments which are certified and approved in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section shall be eligible, so far as the regulations in this part are concerned, for importation into the United States from such foreign country after applicable requirements of this part have been met.
(2) The determination of acceptability of a foreign poultry inspection system for purposes of this section shall be based on an evaluation of the foreign program in accordance with the following requirements and procedures:
(i) The system shall have a program organized and administered by the national government of the foreign country. The system as implemented must provide standards equivalent to those of the Federal system of poultry inspection in the United States with respect to:
(A) Organizational structure and staffing, so as to insure uniform enforcement of the requisite laws and regulations in all establishments throughout the system at which poultry products are processed for export to the United States;
(C) The assignment of competent, qualified inspectors;
(D) Authority and responsibility of national inspection officials to enforce the requisite laws and regulations governing poultry inspection and to certify or refuse to certify poultry products intended for export;
(E) Adequate administrative and technical support;
(ii) The legal authority for the system and the regulations thereunder shall impose requirements equivalent to those governing the system of poultry inspection organized and maintained in the United States with respect to:
(C) Official controls by the national government over establishment construction, facilities, and equipment;
(D) Direct and continuous official supervision of slaughtering of poultry and processing of poultry products, by the assignment of inspectors to establishments certified under paragraph (a)(3) of this section to assure that adulterated or misbranded poultry products are not processed for export to the United States;
(E) Complete separation of establishments certified under subparagraph (3) of this paragraph from establishments not certified, and the maintenance of a single standard of inspection and sanitation throughout all certified establishments;
(G) Official controls over condemned material until destroyed or removed and thereafter excluded from the establishment;
(H) A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, as set forth in part 417 of this chapter.
(iii) Countries desiring to establish eligibility for importation of poultry products into the United States may request a determination of eligibility by presenting copies of the laws and regulations on which the foreign poultry inspection system is based and such other information as the Administrator may require with respect to matters enumerated in paragraphs (a)(2) (i) and (ii). Determination of eligibility is based on a study of the documents and other information presented and an initial review of the system in operation by a representative of the Department using the criteria listed in paragraphs (a)(2) (i) and (ii) of this section. Maintenance of eligibility of a country for importation of poultry products into the United States depends on the results of periodic reviews of the foreign poultry inspection system in operation by a representative of the Department, and the timely submission of such documents and other information related to the conduct of the foreign inspection system as the Administrator may find pertinent to and necessary for the determinations required by this section.
(iv) The foreign inspection system must maintain a program to assure that the requirements referred to in this section, equivalent to those applicable to the Federal system in the United States, are being met. The program as implemented must provide for the following:
(A) Periodic supervisory visits by a representative of the foreign inspection system to each establishment certified in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section to ensure that requirements referred to in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(A) through (H) of this section are being met: Provided, That such visits are not required with respect to any establishment during a period when the establishment is not operating or is not engaged in producing products for exportation to the United States;
(B) Written reports prepared by the representative of the foreign inspection system who has conducted a supervisory visit, documenting his or her findings with respect to the requirements referred to in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(A) through (a)(2)(ii)(H) of this section, copies of which shall be made available to the representative of the Department at the time of the representative's review upon request by that representative to a responsible foreign inspection official: Provided, that such reports are not required during a period when the establishment is not operating or not engaged in producing products for exportation to the United States.
(C) Random sampling and testing at the point of slaughter of carcasses, including internal organs and fat, for residues identified by the exporting country's inspection authorities or by this Agency as potential contaminants, in accordance with sampling and analytical techniques approved by the Administrator: Provided, that such testing is required only on samples taken of carcasses from which poultry or poultry products intended for importation into the United States are produced.
(3) Only those establishments that are determined and certified to the Agency by a responsible official of the foreign meat inspection system as fully meeting the requirements of paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section are eligible to have their products imported into the United States. Establishment eligibility is subject to review by the Agency (including observations of the establishments by Program representatives at times prearranged with the foreign meat inspection system officials). Foreign establishment certifications must be renewed annually. Notwithstanding certification by a foreign official, the Administrator may terminate the eligibility of any foreign establishment for the importation of its products into the United States if it does not comply with the requirements listed in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section, or if current establishment information cannot be obtained. The Administrator will provide reasonable notice to the foreign government of the proposed termination of any foreign establishment, unless a delay in terminating its eligibility could result in the importation of adulterated or misbranded product.
(i) For a new establishment or any establishment for which information from last year's electronic certification or paper certificate has changed, the certification or certificate must contain: The date; the foreign country; the foreign establishment's name, address, and foreign establishment number; the foreign official's title; the foreign official's signature (for paper certificates only); the type of operation(s) conducted at the establishment (e.g., slaughter, processing, storage, exporting warehouse); and the establishment's eligibility status (e.g., new or relisted (if previously delisted)). Slaughter and processing establishment certifications must address the species and type of products produced at the establishment (e.g., the process category).
(ii) If the establishment information provided on the preceding year's electronic foreign establishment certification or paper certificate, as required in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, has not changed, the certification or certificate must contain: The date, the foreign country, the foreign establishment's name, the foreign official's title and signature (for paper certificates only).
(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.