20 May 2016
USDA to Phase In Re-inspection of Imported Catfish
According to an administrative message from CBP, between 15 April 2016 and 1 September 2017 the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will select a subset of imported shipments of Siluriformes fish and fish products for re-inspection, which will include testing for species, chemical residues and Salmonella. Beginning on 1 September 2017, FSIS will re-inspect all shipments of imported Siluriformes fish and fish products just as it re-inspects all shipments of imported meat, poultry and egg products. FSIS is providing the transitional period to ensure that importers, customs brokers and other stakeholders have ample time to prepare and comply with FSIS’s mandatory re-inspection requirements.
During the transitional period shipments of imported Siluriformes fish and fish products from eligible countries/establishments will not display any FSIS flags requiring the submission of electronic data or paper certificates at the border. FSIS will select specific shipments for re-inspection and notify brokers verbally when a specific shipment has been selected. For rail, lorry and air shipments, FSIS may target a shipment of interest by the time of arrival or CBP release, whichever is later. For ocean shipments, a decision will be made within 48 hours from the time of entry filing.
In any mode of transportation, if FSIS does not provide notification that a Siluriformes fish shipment has been selected for re-inspection within the applicable timeframe, that shipment will not need to be presented at an official import inspection establishment for FSIS re-inspection and can move in commerce after all other applicable government agency requirements have been met. If a shipment is not selected for re-inspection there will be no electronic communication that the shipment may proceed in commerce. Importers and brokers are encouraged to file the entry as soon as possible to ensure that the logistics of the selected shipments can be accommodated.