NEWS

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APHIS Allows Imports of Mango From Colombia

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will allow importation of mangoes from Colombia into the United States, it said in a notice released Nov. 19. 

 

Conditions include a hot water or irradiation treatment and inspections. Shipments must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the Colombian government. APHIS said imports of mangoes from Colombia may be authorized beginning Nov. 22.

Freight Shipping Containers

TEMPORARY ADJUSTMENT OF TMF AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES AND LONG BEACH

LONG BEACH, Calif., November 10, 2021—The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today announced that the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will be temporarily adjusted from December 1, 2021, through January 31, 2022, subject to regulatory clearance by the Federal Maritime Commission. During this period, there will be a financial incentive to move containers during off-peak hours by charging a TMF during peak hours. Today’s announcement makes no changes to the appointment systems operated by individual terminals.

 

The adjustment comes at the request of the Port Envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, as well as the Executive Directors of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as part of a collaborative effort to incentivize increased use of marine terminal gates during off-peak hours. The action is part of an overall effort to expand the use of warehouses, distribution centers, and trucking during the second and third shifts for the final push of holiday goods in December and into January leading to Lunar New Year.

 

From December 1, 2021, through January 31, 2022, the TMF will be $78.23 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) or $156.46 for all other sizes of container for non-exempt international container moves through the terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:59 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

Containers exempt from the TMF include empty containers; import cargo or export cargo that transits the Alameda Corridor in a container and is subject to a fee imposed by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority; domestic and transshipment cargo; and loaded container moves through the terminals from 6:00 p.m. through 6:59 a.m. Monday through Saturday and all day (24 hours) on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Empty chassis and bobtail trucks are also exempt

 

PierPASS is a not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach to address multi-terminal issues such as congestion, air quality and security. The West Coast Marine Terminal Operator Agreement (WCMTOA) is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission, and comprises the 12 international MTOs serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. For more information, please see www.pierpass.org.

 

PierPASS Customer Service Number: 877-863-3310

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CHAIN REACTION FROM PORT DELAYS

As always, one of our goals is to keep our customers informed regarding challenges affecting the movement of cargo in US ports.

 

As we know, port congestion is a current reality across many ports of the U.S. It is estimated that of the ten busiest ports in the nation, at least seven are facing congestion regularly.

 

What are some of the major causes?

 

  • The global supply chain disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic during the second and third quarters of 2020

  • Significant labor shortages created by Covid-19 at ports and on ships

  • Cargo surges from large ships

  • Marine terminal productivity

  • Labor disruptions

  • Infrastructure unable to handle heavy volumes of cargo

  • Equipment shortages 

 

What are the effects of port congestion on incoming cargo?

 

  • Chronic Vessel Gridlock – ships are stranded offshore for days, even weeks waiting to anchor and unload. One major reason for the back-up is the lack of berth space. This is particularly perceptible in the ports in California, Savannah and New York.

 

  • Delays in Arrival of Vessels – The chronic gridlock noted above automatically means expected arrival dates may no longer be valid.

 

  • Vessel Un-loading Delays – The process of unloading vessels is very slow. Because the ports are overwhelmed with the high volume of incoming cargo and the effects of the gridlock noted above, containers are buried in extensive stacks in clogged terminal yards making unloading of cargo a slow process (just unloading an ocean vessel can take 1-3 business days because many ships have more than 10,000 containers on board).

 

  • Trucking Issues – The delays in arrival of vessels cause issues with truckers as they are set up to pick up cargo on a particular date and schedules regularly change with frequently only a one day of notification thus, adding additional stress on trucking schedules and coordination.

 

  • Slow Container Pickup – Trucks wait in line for hours (up to eight or nine hours in some cases) to pick up a single container. Some customers experience shipment delays lasting weeks.

 

  • High Handling Cost of Containers (Demurrage) – Terminal operators still charge a per diem penalty for demurrage each day the container remains at the terminal beyond three days, even when the shipper is prevented from removing it. It is evident the port congestion has had a negative impact on the cost of container handling (remember that once demurrage is assessed, the shipper has no choice but to pay since the payment is due in advance on the day the cargo is picked-up).

 

  • Challenging Communication with Ports – due to manpower shortage, it has become almost impossible to obtain a response from carriers to emails or to phone calls when requesting information regarding notices of arrival, demurrage invoices, etc. (we strongly encourage our customers to follow up with their respective carriers to obtain their notices of arrival timely to avoid demurrage charges resulting from lack of freight payment).

 

In summary, all the factors noted above are basic to clearing and moving cargo efficiently and quickly. Without all these parts moving in-tandem, the system is hindered. These significant issues noted will continue to result in delays in the clearance of cargo. 

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DRAYAGE DEMAND CONTINUES TO RISE AT RECORD LEVELS

Background/Issue - Over the past 16 years, the country has experienced shortages of truck drivers rise and fall with economic trends. However, demand far exceeded supply during the second half of 2020 and the shortage is affecting deliveries nationwide. The truck driver shortage has been widely publicized lately as the domestic supply chain still struggles with the post-COVID fallout. As demand for freight services continues to grow, the supply side is having difficulty meeting the needs of shippers. This imbalance has left shippers feeling the pain as more volume enters the freight market than can be reasonably transported.

 

Basic economics dictates that this misalignment will have an upward price pressure, primarily the reason for rate increases that hit freight in 2020. The industry is working to meet the demand which is only expected to increase (as per the American Trucking Association, 72.5% of all freight in the US was transported by the trucking industry in 2019). The American Trucking Association has reported that the industry will need to hire approximately 1.1 million new drivers in the next decade to offset the strain. This equates to 110,000 drivers per year.

 

What are the causes for the shortage? The greatest shortage of truckers is in the sector known as truckload carriers, which move trailer-size shipments of freight long distances. Aside from the increase in freight volume, several factors have contributed to the shortage including an aging driver population, high turnover, the construction industry, federal regulation and competition from companies like FedEx, Amazon, UPS, and Walmart that can offer more regular routes.

 

What is the industry doing to remedy the problem? Trucking capacity is expected to remain tight during 2021. According to The American Trucking Association the industry is stressing recruitment expansion to include new talent and an increase in compensation. 

 

How is this affecting you? As can be anticipated, the terminals have been experiencing considerable delays from the increased volumes and chassis shortage. Containers coming off the vessel are stacked causing delays for inspection. And, when cargo is released, truckers often wait at the terminal for hours for containers to be mounted for departure which means they are only able to make 1 – 3 turns per day adding more pressure on driver availability. In addition, there are increasing delays in offloading once cargo arrives at its final destination.

 

As can be expected, with carriers granting only 2 free days demurrage, terminal charges resulting from these delays are at a record high; and, once carriers calculate these charges, there is an additional lag in payment application by ocean carriers. 

 

We recommend you advise your internal staff and sales teams to factor into the cost of the shipment the rising terminal charges as well as the potential delays in delivery to your warehouse or to your customers.

 

We continue to work diligently to communicate delays and facilitate timely removal of the reefers from the terminal and appreciate your consideration and awareness of these serious issues.

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New 2021 tariff Published for
Greenwich Terminals

Terminal Free Time on Reefers is being reduced to 4 business days (effective March 1st 2021).

 

 

Rates are being increased effective Monday Jan 11th.

 

(1) DRY containers measuring up to and including 20 feet: 

$85.00 per day for each day or fraction thereof after the expiration of free time. 

(2) REFRIGERATED containers measuring up to and including 20 feet: 

$85.00 per day for each day or fraction thereof after the expiration of free time. 

(3) DRY containers measuring in excess of 20 feet: 

$100.00 per day for each day or fraction thereof after the expiration of free time.

(4) REFRIGERATED containers measuring in excess of 20 feet: 

$100.00 per day for each day or fraction thereof after the expiration of free time.

 

 

(1) US Customs X-Ray Inspection 

$195.00 per occurrence (Dry containers) (Straight time M – F only) 

$225.00 per occurrence (Refrigerated containers inclusive of unplugging and 

re-plugging) (Straight time M – F only) 

$ 287.00 per occurrence (Refrigerated containers inclusive of unplugging and re-plugging with Genset mounted) (Straight time M – F only)

 

 

(2) Two (2%) percent inspection 

$545.00 per inspection (inclusive of spotting container/breaking seal/min. inspection/all labor/resealing of container)

 

 

(5) Full Inspection (Performed at the platform) Full strip / full inspection /full restuffing. 

$1286.25 Full strip palletized / USDA full strip

 

(12) Cold Treatment downloads 

$75.00 per action (single file upload)

 

(17) Refrigerated container temperature change 

$80.00 per request

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AMS Announces New 2021/2022 Rates

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the 2021/2022 rates it will charge for voluntary grading, inspection, certification, auditing, and laboratory services for a variety of agricultural commodities including meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy products, rice, and cotton and tobacco. 

 

The 2021/2022 regular, overtime, holiday, and laboratory services rates will be applied at the beginning of the crop year, fiscal year or as required by law depending on the commodity. Other starting dates are added to this notice based on cotton industry practices. 

 

This action establishes the rates for user-funded programs based on costs incurred by AMS. This year, nearly two-thirds of AMS user fee rates will remain unchanged from the previous year and a few will decrease, but increases are necessary to many fees to cover costs.

 

2021/2022 Rates Charged for AMS Services

 

 

For further information contact Charles Parrott, AMS, USDA at 202-260-9144 or charles.parrott@usda.gov

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APHIS/USDA NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR IMPORT DOCUMENTATION

APHIS is responsible, in part, for ensuring the free flow of agricultural trade by keeping U.S. agricultural industries free from pests and diseases.  On January 25, 2021, ACE filing became mandatory for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)-Core PGA Message set. The range of commodities subject to APHIS-Core import requirements is very broad, covering plants and plant products, seeds, animal products and miscellaneous processed products.

 

In order to comply with the requirements of this new filing the botanical name of the product being imported is mandatory.

 

Effective immediately, the following additional information must be included with the documents submitted for your entry:

 

What is the common name? 

What is the genus and species? 

What is the variety name, if any?

 

This information should be included on the Commercial Invoice.  

 

For more information contact Advance Customs Brokers.

BREAKING NEWS

Advisory: USDA Authorizes Imports of
Fresh Peppers from Colombia

APHIS has authorized the importation of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia into the continental United States (Docket No. APHIS-2018-0025). APHIS has concluded that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds. The articles covered by this notification are authorized for importation after March 25, 2021.

  • Pepper, Bell (Fruit) from Colombia into Continental U.S. Ports change commodity is now allowed entry into the United States with the application of one or more phytosanitary measures

  • Pepper, Habanero (Fruit) from Colombia into Continental U.S. Ports change commodity is now allowed entry into the United States with the application of one or more phytosanitary measures

  • Pepper, Locoto (Fruit) from Colombia into Continental U.S. Ports change commodity is now allowed entry into the United States with the application of one or more phytosanitary measures

  • Pepper, Manzano (Fruit) from Colombia into Continental U.S. Ports change commodity is now allowed entry into the United States with the application of one or more phytosanitary measures

  • Pepper, Tabasco (Fruit) from Colombia into Continental U.S. Ports change commodity is now allowed entry into the United States with the application of one or more phytosanitary measures

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​​ PACKER AVE MARINE TERMINAL NEW RATES

 EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 2021

The new 2021 tariff is now being published for Greenwich Terminals. It should be live on our website soon. Some pertinent details:

 

Terminal Free Time on Reefers is being reduced to 4 business days (effective March 1st 2021).

 

 

Rates are being increased effective Monday Jan 11th.

 

(1) DRY containers measuring up to and including 20 feet: 

$85.00 per day for each day or fraction thereof after the expiration of free time. 

(2) REFRIGERATED containers measuring up to and including 20 feet: 

$85.00 per day for each day or fraction thereof after the expiration of free time. 

(3) DRY containers measuring in excess of 20 feet: 

$100.00 per day for each day or fraction thereof after the expiration of free time.

(4) REFRIGERATED containers measuring in excess of 20 feet: 

$100.00 per day for each day or fraction thereof after the expiration of free time.

 

 

(1) US Customs X-Ray Inspection 

$195.00 per occurrence (Dry containers) (Straight time M - F only) 

$225.00 per occurrence (Refrigerated containers inclusive of unplugging and  re-plugging) (Straight time M - F only)

$ 287.00 per occurrence (Refrigerated containers inclusive of unplugging and re-plugging with Genset mounted) (Straight time M - F only)

 

 

(2) Two (2%) percent inspection 

$545.00 per inspection (inclusive of spotting container/breaking seal/min. inspection/all labor/resealing of container)

 

 

(5) Full Inspection (Performed at the platform) Full strip / full inspection /full restuffing. $1286.25 Full strip palletized / USDA full strip

 

(12) Cold Treatment downloads 

$75.00 per action (single file upload)

 

(17) Refrigerated container temperature change 

$80.00 per request

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​​  FreshPlaza interviews Pat Compres

October 14, 2020

“Knowing our customers makes the probability of problems much lower”

Fresh produce travels the globe, and many items are imported into the US from numerous sourcing countries. Being aware of the rules and regulations from both importers and exporters perspective can be quite challenging. “With over 30 years of experience in helping clear fresh produce, we’ve been able to solve many issues,” says Pat Compres, Co-owner of Advance Customs Brokers in Miami, Florida. “We dedicate ourselves to the import side of the business only and work with all US ports,” she added. “There are so many problems that can occur in transit or before produce is being cleared in the US that we are available 24/7, 365 days/year to assist our clients. We support them in getting their produce from the country of origin to the United States in the most efficient way and shortest amount of time.”

“Our role is to advise our clients on US import requirements. In addition, we also provide them with recommendations on carriers to use, types of packaging, and we help them get through the inspection process.” All product that enters the US must be inspected and not only does Advance Customs Brokers help with the documentation process for clearing customs, the team also personally helps perform the inspections with airport arrivals.

See Full Article

URGENT

Reminder regarding timely filing of the Importer Security Filing (ISF) also known as 10+2

September 3, 2020

Eleven years ago, on January 26, 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection mandated the Importer Security Filing (commonly known as "10+2"). ISF is for ocean cargo imports only and must be filed electronically with U.S. Customs and Border Protection 24 HOURS PRIOR TO VESSEL LADING FROM LAST PORT OF ORIGIN.    ISF improves CBP's ability to recognize high-risk shipments in advance to ensure the safety of America's borders.

 

Failure to comply with the rule could ultimately result in monetary penalties, increased inspections, and delay of cargo.  CBP may issue liquidated damages of $5,000 per violation for the submission of an inaccurate, incomplete, or untimely filing. If goods for which an ISF has not been filed arrive in the U.S., CBP may withhold the release or flag cargo for an intensive at a CES, or just not release for a few days, making the cargo incur demurrage charges and loss of shelf life.

 

Recently we have seen CBP taking a more aggressive approach and issuing penalties for those cargos which the ISF was not filed on time.

 

We understand that the importer is not the entity that issues the ISF, that this must come from the shipper/exporter, but the importer is the company that receives the penalties. Therefore we want to share with you that we have been seeing delays in receiving ISF's from shippers and we want make to sure that everyone is aware of this enforcement by CBP.

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Pat Compres Speaks at United Fresh Live

June 12, 2020

Global Trade Challenges in the COVID-19 Era

Advance Customs Brokers' Pat Compres took part in a United Live panel discussing global trade affects and implications of the Coronavirus pandemic.

See Video

BLUEBERRIES


USDA Seeks Change in Importation of Blueberries from Chile

March 31, 2020

USDA/APHIS  is advising the public that we have prepared a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) relative to the importation into the United States of blueberries from Chile. Currently, blueberries from Chile imported into the United States from an area in which European grapevine moth is known to exist must be fumigated with methyl bromide. Based on the findings of the CIED, we are proposing to also allow the importation of such blueberries under the provisions of a systems approach. We are making the CIED available to the public for review and comment.

 

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 1, 2020.

 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

 

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2019-0049

 .

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2019-0049, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737- 1238.

 

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail

 D=APHIS-2019- 0049 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Tony Roman, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, RCC, IRM, PHP, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-2242.


https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-03-31/html/2020-06696.htm


https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-03-31/html/2020-06696.htm

ORANGES


USDA Seeks Change in Importation of Citrus from South Africa

March 31, 2020

Washington, D.C., March 31, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared and is accepting comments on a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) regarding fresh citrus imports from South Africa. Based on the findings of the CIED, APHIS experts determined that grapefruit, lemon, mandarin orange, sweet orange, tangelo, and Satsuma mandarin fruit from South Africa may be imported into the United States without restrictions on the ports of entry. Currently, fresh citrus from South Africa must be cold treated and imports are restricted to Newark, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Wilmington, DE, and Houston, TX due to the presence of false codling moth in South Africa.

 

APHIS conducted enhanced inspections for false codling moth on citrus from South Africa at the four authorized ports over a two-year period.  During that time, more than 2,000 shipments of citrus were imported with no detections of live false codling moth. As a result we are proposing to remove the port restrictions and authorize the importation of citrus from South Africa into all ports of entry in the United States.

 

You may view the CIED in the Federal Register when it is published on April 1, 2020 and submit comments until June 1, 2020, 60 days after the publication date.  The docket will be available upon publication here:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0091

 

After reviewing the comments, APHIS will announce its decision regarding the import status of fresh citrus from South Africa in a final notice

BREAKING NEWS


NY-NJ Port Plans for Cargo Backlog

March 26, 2020

March 27, 2020: Insight from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) reveals preparation for changes in cargo movement as the Covid-19 situation continues to progress. Despite Newark being under a “shelter-in-place” order, workers and truckers remain available and working since employees are able to present a ID indicating they are Essential Employees. Below is a link to an interesting Journal of Commerce article discussing more about what Port Authority of New York  and New Jersey (PANYNJ) expects. While most of the expected changes in cargo deal with dry cargo, any congestions created can slow perishables as well. 

 

JOC: NY-NJ Prepare for Potential Cargo Backlog

 

PRODUCE NEWS CLIP

IN THE PRODUCE NEWS!
Produce Shipments Unaffected by Covid-19, says veteran customs broker.

March 23, 2020

The Produce News spoke to Pat Compres of Advance Customs Brokers who has been on the front lines of facilitating produce trade during the disruptive situations presented by Covid-19.

Read article

BREAKING NEWS

Notice On European Tariffs Affecting
Citrus From Spain

October 7, 2019

USTR has released a list of tariffs of 25% to be imposed on billions' worth of European imports starting Oct. 18 including some produce items. Section 15 of the notice in particular lists several fresh or dried produce items including citrus from Spain.

View the notice at: Notice of Determination and Action Pursuant to Section 301

PAPER DOCUMENT

FDA Makes Available List of Records
Required Under FSVP

October 7, 2019

The Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) final rule, established through the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), requires importers to verify that the food they are importing into the United States has been produced in a manner that meets applicable U.S. food safety standards.

  

To do this, importers are required to develop, implement, and maintain a Foreign Supplier Verification Program which includes verification activities and records of those activities for each imported food from each foreign supplier. During an FSVP inspection, the FDA investigator will review the importer's records to determine their compliance with the FSVP regulation. To help importers determine the FSVP records they should develop and maintain, the FDA has made available a list of records required by the FSVP regulation.

BREAKING NEWS

CBP AQI Changes Inspection process in MIA International

July 9, 2018

Beginning July 9, 2018, CBP's agriculture inspections for Cut Flowers, Animal Products, Miscellaneous Cargo, Fruits and Vegetables (FV) must request inspection only through email.

 

All fruit and vegetable inspection requests should be scheduled 24 hours in advance with inspection date and location.  This advance request apply only to fruits and vegetables arriving through cargo flights.

 

All FV inspections will be conducted by flight at the same time if inspections are scheduled in advance.  Priority will be given to those who requested Agriculture Reimbursable Overtime (Ag ROT) and scheduled inspection in advance.

 

This change will affect all importers that bring cargo via air, except asparagus.   This new requirement means that a Pre Alert is a must in order for us to be able to notify CBP AQI 24 hours in advance.    If we do not receive a pre-alert on shipments it will inspected last.

 

Please be aware that the shipments most affected will be the short transit time shipments from the Caribbean and Central America.

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USDA to take over FDA's food safety oversight

July 3,  2018

Food safety oversight of the produce industry would be moved from the Food and Drug Administration to the U.S. Department of Agriculture under a government overhaul plan unveiled by the White House.

Among other proposed reforms, the 132-page plan argues for a unified food safety agency within the USDA called the Federal Food Safety Agency.

"This consolidation will give USDA the clear mandate, dedicated budget, and full responsibility it needs for optimal oversight of the entire U.S. food supply," according to the document.

For more than 40 years, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has recommended that federal government consolidate food safety functions in a single agency, but proposals to make the idea a reality have never gained traction.

The White House said a single agency would provide better food safety outcomes and improved efficiency, according to the release.

"This consolidation will give USDA the clear mandate, dedicated budget, and full responsibility it needs for optimal oversight of the entire U.S. food supply," according to the plan. "Resources at the FDA will be freed up to focus on its core responsibilities of drugs, devices, biologics, and tobacco."

The White House cited Government Accountability Office analysis that concluded current fragmented federal oversight of food safety "has caused inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources.

The USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service and the FDA are the two primary agencies with major responsibilities for regulating food and the substances, with the FSIS responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, processed egg products, and catfish, while FDA is responsible for all other foods, including fresh produce, seafood and shelled eggs.

"While the FDA and FSIS currently have very different regulatory regimes, consolidating FSIS and the food safety functions of FDA would allow for a better allocation of resources based on risk, better communication during illness outbreaks, and improved policy and program planning through development of a single strategic plan," the plan said.

In February last year, when the GAO repeated its recommendation for a unified food safety agency, Jennifer McEntire, vice president of food safety and technology for the United Fresh Produce Association, said efforts to create single oversight agency for food safety could involve a lot of time and bureaucracy but with little payoff.

"There would be a lot of difficulty getting there, and I don't think it will substantially improve public health," she said at the time. 

                         

breaking news

FAVIR Database and Fruits and Vegetables Manual 

June 20, 2018

This notice is to alert you to changes in the FAVIR Database and the Fruits and Vegetables Manual.

The specific changes are listed below:

 

FAVIR Database: Blackberry, Andean (Fruit) AND Raspberry, European (Fruit) from Ecuador into Continental U.S. Ports changes the Operational Work plan for these commodities has been signed and  importers may now apply for APHIS import permits.

 

Fruits and Vegetables Manual: Table 3-75 Ecuador change language in footnote #3 has been changed to reflect the above-mentioned change

breaking news

FDA Releases Draft Guidance for Intentional Adulteration Rule

June 19, 2018

Today, the FDA released the first of three installments of a draft guidance document designed to support compliance with the Intentional Adulteration (IA) Rule under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The remaining two installments are expected to come out later this year.

The FSMA final rule on intentional adulteration is designed to address hazards that may be intentionally introduced to foods, including by acts of terrorism, with the intent to cause wide-spread harm to public health. Unlike the other FSMA rules that address specific foods or hazards, the IA rule requires the food industry to implement risk-reducing strategies for processes in food facilities that are significantly vulnerable to intentional adulteration.

Food facilities covered by the rule will be required to develop and implement a food defense plan that identifies vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies for those vulnerabilities. These facilities will then be required to ensure that the mitigation strategies are working. The first compliance date for the largest facilities arrives in July 2019.

This first part of the draft guidance includes chapters on:

  • the components of the food defense plan;

  • how to conduct vulnerability assessments using the key activity type method;

  • how to identify and implement mitigation strategies; and

  • food defense monitoring requirements.

The second installment will focus more specifically on vulnerability assessments and training requirements, with the third including greater detail on corrective action, verification, reanalysis, and record keeping requirements.

This draft guidance, in its entirety, is intended to be a resource that will help the food industry implement the IA provisions in a flexible and cost-effective manner. To further assist and engage stakeholders, FDA will announce plans to hold a public meeting on the draft guidance when the second installment is released later this year. All three parts will be available for public comment upon release.

For More Information

  • Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on new guidance to help manufacturers implement protections against potential attacks on the U.S. food supply

  • Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration: Guidance for Industry (Draft)

  • FSMA Final Rule for Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration

breaking news

APHIS Proposes to Allow Imports of Fresh Avocado Fruit from Continental Ecuador

June 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to allow imports of fresh avocado fruit from continental Ecuador into the continental United States. After a thorough review, APHIS scientists determined the fruit can be safely imported under a systems approach to protect against the introduction of pests of concern.

 

A systems approach is a series of measures taken by growers, packers, and shippers that, in combination, minimize pest risks prior to importation into the United States.  

In this case, the systems approach includes production site requirements, packinghouse requirements, shipment of commercial shipments only, and inspection of each shipment. A phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating these conditions have been met must also accompany each shipment. Avocados that are ineligible for export under the systems approach may still be imported following APHIS-approved treatment, such as irradiation.

APHIS will carefully consider all comments received by August 14, 2018. This notice may be viewed in today's Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2018-12827. Beginning tomorrow, members of the public will be able to submit comments at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0099