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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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AGENCY:

Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, this notice announces the Food Safety and Inspection Service's (FSIS) intention to request an extension for and revision to a currently approved information collection package regarding exportation, transportation, and importation of meat and poultry products.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received on or before March 31, 2003.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR COMMENTS:

Contact John O'Connell, Paperwork Specialist, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 112, Washington, DC 20250-3700, (202) 720-0345.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Exportation, Transportation, and Importation of Meat and Poultry Products.

OMB Number: 0583-0094.

Expiration Date of Approval: 1/31/03.

Type of Request: Extension and revision of a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: FSIS has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary as provided in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.). These statutes mandate that FSIS protect the public by ensuring that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged.

FSIS is requesting an extension and revision to the information collection package addressing meat and poultry paperwork and recordkeeping requirements regarding exportation, transportation, and importation of meat and poultry products. FSIS requires that meat and poultry establishments exporting product to foreign countries complete an export certificate. Establishments must supply the type, amount, and destination of product being exported. The information required on this form does not duplicate any information required by other Federal agencies. The form is necessary to certify to the importing countries that FSIS inspectors have inspected the product and have found it sound and wholesome. Additionally, FSIS uses the information from the form in its annual Report to Congress as required by sections 301(c)(4) and 20(e) of the FMIA and sections 27 and 5(c)(4) of the PPIA.

Meat and poultry products not marked with the mark of inspection and shipped from one official establishment to another for further processing must be transported under FSIS seal to prevent such unmarked product from entering into commerce. To track product shipped under seal, FSIS requires shipping establishments to complete a form that identifies the type, amount, and weight of the product.

A foreign country exporting meat or poultry products to the U.S. must establish eligibility for importation of product into the U.S. and annually certify that its inspection systems are “at least equal to” the U.S. inspection system. To maintain eligibility, a written report must be prepared monthly by a representative of the foreign inspection system for each establishment listed in the certification. Additionally, meat and poultry products intended for import into the U.S. must be accompanied by a health certificate, signed by an official of the foreign government, stating that the products have been produced by certified foreign establishments. Establishments or brokers wishing to import product into the United States must complete a form that specifies the type, amount, originating country and destination of the meat and poultry product. The amount of meat and poultry product imported into the United States is included in FSIS's annual Report to Congress. Additionally, FSIS has established procedures allowing establishments importing product to stamp such product with the inspection legend prior to FSIS inspection, if they receive FSIS prior approval.

Estimate of Burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average .0773501 hours per response.

Respondents: Meat and poultry establishments, and importers and exporters.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,374.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 295.88866.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 168,769 hours.

Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from John O'Connell, Paperwork Specialist, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 112, Washington, DC 20250-3700, (202) 720-5276.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FSIS' functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FSIS' estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to both John O'Connell, Paperwork Specialist, at the address provided above, and the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20253.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

Additional Public Notification

This notice is designed to provide information to the public and request their comments on FSIS' information collection requirements regarding Start Printed Page 5866Exportation, Transportation, and Importation of Meat and Poultry Products. Public involvement is important. Consequently, in an effort to better ensure that minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are made aware of this request for the extension and revision of the currently approved information collection request 0583-0094 and are informed about the mechanism for providing their comments, FSIS will announce it and provide copies of this Federal Register publication in the FSIS Constituent Update.

FSIS provides a weekly FSIS Constituent Update, which is communicated via fax to over 300 organizations and individuals. In addition, the update is available on line through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov. The update is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register Notices, FSIS public meetings, recalls, and any other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents/stakeholders. The constituent fax list consists of industry, trade, and farm groups, consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, scientific professionals and other individuals that have requested to be included. Through these various channels, FSIS is able to provide information with a much broader, more diverse audience.

For more information and to be added to the constituent fax list, fax your request to the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, at (202) 720-5704.

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Linda M. Swacina,

Associate Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 03-2607 Filed 1-30-03; 5:01 pm]

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