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PART 557 - IMPORTATION
Source:

80 FR 75616, Dec. 2, 2015, unless otherwise noted.

§ 557.1 Definitions; application of provisions.

(a) When used in this part, the following terms shall be construed to mean:

(1) Import. To bring within the territorial limits of the United States whether that arrival is accomplished by land, air, or water.

(2) Offer for entry. Presentation of the imported product by the importer to the Program for reinspection.

(3) Entry. The point at which imported product offered for entry receives reinspection and is marked with the official mark of inspection in accordance with § 557.26 of this subchapter.

(b) The provisions of this part shall apply to fish and fish products that are capable of use as human food. Compliance with the conditions for importation of products under this part does not excuse the need for compliance with applicable requirements under other laws, including the provisions in part 94 of chapter I of this title.

§ 557.2 Eligibility of foreign countries for importation of fish and fish products into the United States.

(a) The requirements in 9 CFR 327.2(a)(1), (a)(2)(i), (a)(2)(ii)(C)-(I), (a)(2)(iii)-(iv), and (a)(3), for determining the acceptability of foreign meat inspection systems for the importation of meat and meat food products into the United States, apply in determining the acceptability of foreign fish inspection systems for the importation of fish and fish products into the United States. In determining the acceptability of these systems, the Agency will evaluate the manner in which they take into account the conditions under which fish are raised and transported to a processing establishment.

(b) The countries eligible to export specific process categories of fish and fish products are listed at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/importlibrary. Such products must be covered by foreign inspection certificates of the country of origin as required by § 557.4. Products from such countries are eligible under the regulations in this subchapter for entry into the United States after inspection and marking as required by the applicable provisions of this part. .

[80 FR 75616, Dec. 2, 2015, as amended at 84 FR 59681, 59685, 59689, Nov. 5, 2019; 84 FR 65269, Nov. 27, 2019]

§ 557.3 No fish or fish product to be imported without compliance with applicable regulations.

No fish or fish product offered for importation from any foreign country shall be admitted into the United States if it is adulterated or misbranded or does not comply with all the requirements of this subchapter that would apply to it if it were a domestic product.

§ 557.4 Imported fish and fish products; foreign certificates required.

(a) Except as provided in § 557.16, each consignment containing any fish or fish products consigned to the United States from a foreign country must be accompanied by an electronic foreign inspection certificate or a paper foreign inspection certificate for fish and fish products. The certificate must have been issued by an official of the foreign government agency responsible for the inspection and certification.

(b) An official of the foreign government must certify that any fish or fish product described on any official certificate was produced in accordance with the regulatory requirements in § 557.2.

(c) The electronic foreign inspection certification must be in English, be transmitted directly to FSIS before the product's arrival at the official import inspection establishment, and be available to import inspection personnel.

(d) The paper foreign inspection certificate must accompany each consignment; be submitted to import inspection personnel at the official import inspection establishment; be in English; bear the official seal of the foreign government responsible for the inspection of the product, and the name, title, and signature of the official authorized to issue inspection certificates for products imported to the United States.

(e) The electronic foreign inspection certification and paper foreign inspection certificate must contain:

(1) The date;

(2) The foreign country of export and the producing foreign establishment number;

(3) The species used to produce the product and the source country and foreign establishment number, if the source materials originate from a country other than the exporting country;

(4) The product's description, including the process category, the product category, and the product group;

(5) The name and address of the importer or consignee;

(6) The name and address of the exporter or consignor;

(7) The number of units (pieces or containers) and the shipping or identification;

(8) The net weight of each lot;

(9) Any additional information the Administrator requests to determine whether the product is eligible to be imported into the United States.

§ 557.5 Importer to make application for inspection of fish and fish products for entry.

(a) Applicants must submit an import inspection application, to apply for the inspection of any product offered for entry. Applicants may apply for inspection using a paper or electronic application form.

(b) Import inspection applications for each consignment must be submitted, electronically or on paper, to FSIS in advance of the shipment's arrival at the official import establishment where the product will be reinspected, but no later than when the entry is filed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

(c) The provisions of this section do not apply to products that are exempted from inspection by §§ 557.16 and 557.17.

§ 557.6 Fish and fish products for importation; program inspection, time and place; application for approval of facilities as official import inspection establishment; refusal or withdrawal of approval; official numbers.

(a)

(1) Except as provided in §§ 557.16 and 557.17, all fish and fish products offered for entry from any foreign country shall be reinspected by a Program inspector before they shall be allowed entry into the United States.

(2) Every lot of product shall routinely be given visual inspection by a Program import inspector for appearance and condition, and checked for certification and label compliance.

(3) The electronic inspection system will be consulted for reinspection instructions. The electronic inspection system will assign reinspection levels and procedures based on established sampling plans and established product and plant history.

(4) When the inspector deems it necessary, the inspector may sample and inspect lots not designated by the electronic system.

(b) Fish and fish products required by this part to be inspected must be inspected only at an official establishment or at an official import inspection establishment approved by the Administrator as provided in this section.

(c) Owners or operators of establishments, other than official establishments, who want to have import inspections made at their establishments, shall apply to the Administrator for approval of their establishments for such purpose. Application must be made on a form furnished by the Program, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250, and must include all information called for by that form.

(d) Approval for Federal import inspection must be in accordance with §§ 304.1 and 304.2 of this chapter. Also, before approval is granted, the establishment must have developed written Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures in accordance with part 416 of this chapter.

(e) Owners or operators of establishments at which import inspections of product are to be made shall furnish adequate sanitary facilities and equipment for examination of such product. The requirements of §§ 307.1, 307.2(b), (d), (f), (h), (k), and (l) and 416.1 through 416.6 of this chapter shall apply as conditions for approval of establishments as official import inspection establishments to the same extent and in the same manner as they apply with respect to official establishments.

(f) The Administrator is authorized to approve any establishment as an official import inspection establishment, provided that an application has been filed in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section and he determines that such establishment meets the requirements under paragraph (e) of this section. Any application for inspection under this section may be denied or refused in accordance with the rules of practice in part 500 of this chapter.

(g) Approval of an official import inspection establishment may be withdrawn in accordance with applicable rules of practice if it is determined that the sanitary conditions are such that the product is rendered adulterated, that such action is authorized by section 21(b) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (84 Stat. 91), or that the requirements of paragraph (e) of this section were not complied with. Approval may be withdrawn in accordance with section 401 of the Act and applicable rules of practice.

(h) A special official number shall be assigned to each official import inspection establishment. Such number shall be used to identify all products inspected and passed for entry at the establishment.

(i) A product examination must be made, as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, of a foreign fish or fish product, including defrosting if necessary to determine its condition. Inspection standards for foreign chilled fresh or frozen fresh fish shall be the same as those used for domestic fish or fish products. Samples may be collected at no cost to FSIS and submitted to an FSIS laboratory for analysis (See § 557.18).

(j) Imported canned products are required to be sound, healthful, properly labeled, wholesome, and otherwise not adulterated at the time the products are offered for importation into the United States. Provided other requirements of this part are met, the determination of the acceptability of the product and the condition of the containers shall be based on the results of an examination of a statistical sample drawn from the consignment as provided in paragraph (a) of this section. If the inspector determines, on the basis of the sample examination, that the product does not meet the requirements of the Act and regulations thereunder, the consignment shall be refused entry. However, a consignment rejected for container defects but otherwise acceptable may be reoffered for inspection under the following conditions:

(1) If the defective containers are not indicative of an unsafe and unstable product as determined by the Administrator;

(2) If the number and kinds of container defects found in the original sample do not exceed the limits specified for this purpose in FSIS guidelines; and

(3) If the defective containers in the consignment have been sorted out and exported or destroyed under the supervision of an inspector.

(k) Program inspectors or Customs officers at border or seaboard ports shall report the sealing of cars, trucks, or other means of conveyance, and the sealing or identification of containers of foreign product to Program personnel at points where such product is to be inspected.

(l) Representative samples of canned product designated by the Administrator in instructions to inspectors shall be incubated under supervision of such inspectors in accordance with § 318.309(d)(1)(ii), (d)(1)(iii), (d)(1)(iv)(c), (d)(1)(v), (d)(1)(vii) and (d)(1)(viii) of this chapter. The importer or his/her agent shall provide the necessary incubation facilities in accordance with § 318.309(d)(1)(i) of this chapter.

(m) Sampling plans and acceptance levels as prescribed in paragraphs (j) and (l) of this section may be obtained, upon request, from the Office of Field Operations, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250.

§ 557.7 Products for importation; movement prior to inspection; handling; bond; assistance.

The requirements in 9 CFR 327.7 respecting the movement or conveyance from any port, or delivery to the consignee, of any product required to be inspected under part 327, apply to fish and fish products.

§ 557.8 Import fish and fish products; equipment and means of conveyance used in handling to be maintained in sanitary condition.

Compartments of ocean vessels, railroad cars, and other means of conveyance transporting any fish or fish product to the United States, and all trucks, chutes, platforms, racks, tables, tools, utensils, and all other devices used in moving and handling any fish or fish product offered for importation into the United States, shall be maintained in a sanitary condition.

§ 557.9 [Reserved]
§ 557.10 Samples; inspection of consignments; refusal of entry; marking.

The provisions in 9 CFR 327.10 governing the taking of samples, the inspection of consignments, the refusal of entry, and the controlled pre-stamping of shipments of meat and meat food products apply with respect to fish and fish products.

§ 557.11 Receipts to importers for import fish product samples.

FSIS will issue to importers official receipts for samples of foreign products collected for laboratory analysis, as provided in § 327.11 of this chapter.

§ 557.12 Foreign canned or packaged fish and fish products bearing trade labels; sampling and inspection.

Foreign canned or packaged fish and fish products bearing on their immediate containers trade labels that have or have not been approved in accordance with the regulations in § 541.7 of this subchapter are to be sampled and inspected in the same manner as provided by § 327.12 of this chapter for foreign canned meat food products.

§ 557.13 Foreign fish and fish products offered for importation; reporting of findings to Customs.

Program inspectors are to report their findings as to any fish or fish products that have been inspected in accordance with this part in the same manner as that provided by § 327.13 of this chapter for meat products. Fish and fish products that are refused entry are to be handled in the same manner as provided by § 327.13 of this chapter for meat products that are refused entry. Import personnel will identify to the Port Director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Importer of record any products refused entry into the United States.

§ 557.14 Marking of fish and fish products and labeling of immediate containers thereof for importation.

The regulations in 9 CFR 327.14 governing the marking of meat and meat food products and the labeling of immediate containers of those products for importation apply with respect to fish and fish products.

§ 557.15 Outside containers of foreign products; marking and labeling; application of official inspection legend.

The requirements in 9 CFR 327.15 governing the marking and labeling of outside containers of meat and meat food products apply also with respect to fish and fish products.

§ 557.16 Small importations for importer's own consumption; requirements.

The exemption in 9 CFR 327.16 for small importations of meat or meat food products for the importer's own consumption applies with respect to fish or fish products.

§ 557.17 Returned U.S. inspected and marked fish and fish products.

U.S. inspected and passed and so marked fish products exported to and returned from foreign countries will be admitted into the United States without compliance with this part upon notification of and approval by the Assistant Administrator, Office of Field Operations, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250, in specific cases.

§ 557.18 Fish or fish products offered for entry and entered to be handled and transported as domestic; exception.

The regulations in 9 CFR 327.18 governing the offer for entry into the United States of meat and meat food products apply with respect to fish and fish products. Products that fail to meet these regulatory requirements are subject to penalties as administered by the U.S. Port Director of Customs and Border Protection. Likewise, the products may be subject to detention and to being proceeded against as determined by the Administrator.

§ 557.19 Specimens for laboratory examination and similar purposes.

Importation of fish or fish product samples for trade show exhibition, laboratory examination, research, evaluative testing, trade show exhibition, or other scientific purposes are subject to the same conditions as imported meat or meat product specimens under § 327.19 of this chapter.

§ 557.20-557.23 [Reserved]
§ 557.24 Appeals; how made.

An appeal from a decision of any Program employee is to be made as provided by 9 CFR 327.24.

§ 557.25 Disposition procedures for fish and fish products condemned or ordered destroyed under import inspection.

Disposition procedures for condemned fish or fish products ordered destroyed under import inspection are as those for carcasses, parts, meat, and meat food products under 9 CFR 327.25.

§ 557.26 Official import inspection marks and devices.

The official inspection legend and other marks to be applied to imported fish and fish products are as required by 9 CFR 327.26 for meat food products prepared from cattle, sheep, swine, and goats.