FSIS Proposes New Electronic Export Application and Certification SystemThursday, January 26, 2012
(American Meat Institute)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing a new rule, Electronic Export Application and Certification Charge; Flexibility in the Requirements for Export Inspection Marks, Devices, and Certificates; Egg Products Export Certification, that would establish an electronic export application and certification system, which would be a component of the agency's Public Health Information System (PHIS). This export component of PHIS would be available as an alternative to the paper-based application and certification process currently used.
The agency, however, is proposing to charge users to utilize the proposed electronic system. Specifically, FSIS has proposed a formula for calculating the fee, which would be published annually in the Federal Register. Charging a fee for the proposed export system is legally questionable, however, because export certification is required under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), which provide that
The cost of inspection rendered on and after July 1, 1948, under the requirements of laws relating to Federal inspection of meat and meat food products shall be borne by the United States except the cost of overtime pursuant to section 394 of title 7.
AMI will file comments on the proposed rule and object to the agency's attempt to impose the proposed fee. Comments are due March 23, 2012.
The proposed rule is available here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/pagedetails.action?granuleId=2012-1158&packageId=FR-2012-01-23&acCode=FR
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