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e-CFR data is current as of March 3, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter ISubchapter CPart 65Subpart A → §65.500


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 65—COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING OF LAMB, CHICKEN, AND GOAT MEAT, PERISHABLE AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES, MACADAMIA NUTS, PECANS, PEANUTS, AND GINSENG
Subpart A—General Provisions


§65.500   Recordkeeping requirements.

(a) General. (1) All records must be legible and may be maintained in either electronic or hard copy formats. Due to the variation in inventory and accounting documentary systems, various forms of documentation and records will be acceptable.

(2) Upon request by USDA representatives, suppliers and retailers subject to this subpart shall make available to USDA representatives, records maintained in the normal course of business that verify an origin claim. Such records shall be provided within 5 business days of the request and may be maintained in any location.

(b) Responsibilities of suppliers. (1) Any person engaged in the business of supplying a covered commodity to a retailer, whether directly or indirectly, must make available information to the buyer about the country(ies) of origin of the covered commodity. This information may be provided either on the product itself, on the master shipping container, or in a document that accompanies the product through retail sale. In addition, the supplier of a covered commodity that is responsible for initiating a country(ies) of origin claim, which in the case of lamb, chicken, and goat, is the slaughter facility, must possess records that are necessary to substantiate that claim for a period of 1 year from the date of the transaction. For that purpose, packers that slaughter animals that are tagged with an 840 Animal Identification Number device without the presence of any additional accompanying marking (i.e., “CAN” or “M”) may use that information as a basis for a U.S. origin claim. Packers that slaughter animals that are part of another country's recognized official system (e.g. Canadian official system, Mexico official system) may also rely on the presence of an official ear tag or other approved device on which to base their origin claims. Producer affidavits shall also be considered acceptable records that suppliers may utilize to initiate origin claims, provided it is made by someone having first-hand knowledge of the origin of the covered commodity and identifies the covered commodity unique to the transaction.

(2) Any intermediary supplier handling a covered commodity that is found to be designated incorrectly as to the country of origin shall not be held liable for a violation of the Act by reason of the conduct of another if the intermediary supplier relied on the designation provided by the initiating supplier or other intermediary supplier, unless the intermediary supplier willfully disregarded information establishing that the country of origin declaration was false.

(3) Any person engaged in the business of supplying a covered commodity to a retailer, whether directly or indirectly (i.e., including but not limited to growers, distributors, handlers, packers, and processors), must maintain records to establish and identify the immediate previous source (if applicable) and immediate subsequent recipient of a covered commodity for a period of 1 year from the date of the transaction.

(4) For an imported covered commodity (as defined in §65.300(f)), the importer of record as determined by CBP, must ensure that records: provide clear product tracking from the port of entry into the United States to the immediate subsequent recipient and accurately reflect the country of origin of the item as identified in relevant CBP entry documents and information systems; and must maintain such records for a period of 1 year from the date of the transaction.

(c) Responsibilities of retailers. (1) In providing the country of origin notification for a covered commodity, in general, retailers are to convey the origin information provided by their suppliers. Only if the retailer physically commingles a covered commodity of different origins in preparation for retail sale, whether in a consumer-ready package or in a bulk display (and not discretely packaged) (i.e., full service meat case), can the retailer initiate a multiple country of origin designation that reflects the actual countries of origin for the resulting covered commodity.

(2) Records and other documentary evidence relied upon at the point of sale to establish a covered commodity's country(ies) of origin must either be maintained at the retail facility or at another location for as long as the product is on hand and provided to any duly authorized representative of USDA in accordance with §65.500(a)(2). For pre-labeled products, the label itself is sufficient information on which the retailer may rely to establish the product's origin and no additional records documenting origin information are necessary.

(3) Any retailer handling a covered commodity that is found to be designated incorrectly as to the country of origin shall not be held liable for a violation of the Act by reason of the conduct of another if the retailer relied on the designation provided by the supplier, unless the retailer willfully disregarded information establishing that the country of origin declaration was false.

(4) Records that identify the covered commodity, the retail supplier, and for products that are not pre-labeled, the country of origin information must be maintained for a period of 1 year from the date the origin declaration is made at retail.

[74 FR 2704, Jan. 15, 2009, as amended at 81 FR 10761, Mar. 2, 2016]

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