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FSIS Issues Letter to Importers and Customs Brokers Outlining Electronic Import Processes

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a letter to importers and customs brokers clarifying changes outlined in its Electronic Import Inspection Application and Certification of Imported Products and Foreign Establishments final rule. The letter discusses the final rule's Public Health Information System (PHIS) Import Component, which provides an electronic alternative to the paper-based import inspection application and to the foreign inspection and foreign establishment certificate processes. Effective November 1, 2015, importers and customs brokers must submit electronic cargo release and entry summary data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through the Automated Commercial Environment. The letter also provides additional information regarding the process to submit import inspection applications to FSIS to ensure that applications are received no later than when the initial entry is filed with CBP, thereby meeting the prior notification requirement established in the final rule. Finally, the letter summarizes FSIS import re-inspection requirements for meat, poultry and egg products and instances that may cause product to be identified as failure to present (FTP). FSIS also released a fact sheet that highlights key points about the import inspection process and FTP.

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