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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection (Exportation, Transportation, and Importation of Meat and Poultry Products)

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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 of a currently approved information collection regarding exportation, transportation, and importation of meat and poultry products.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received on or before August 22, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this information collection request. Comments may be submitted by mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROMs, and hand-or courier-delivered items. Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 102 Cotton Annex, Washington, DC 20250. All submissions received must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2006-0014.

All comments submitted in response to this notice, as well as research and background information used by FSIS in developing this document, will be available for public inspection in the FSIS Docket Room at the address listed above between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The comments also will be posted on the Agency's Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​regulations_​&​_​policies/​2006_​Notices_​Index/​index.asp.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John O'Connell, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, 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: October 31, 2006.

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

Abstract: FSIS has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary as specified 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 extension of an approved information collection addressing paperwork and recordkeeping requirements regarding the collection of information concerning the exportation, transportation, and importation of meat and poultry products. The Agency requires that meat and poultry establishments exporting product to foreign countries complete an export certificate. Establishments must supply the type, the amount, and the destination of product being exported. The form is necessary to certify to the importing countries that FSIS inspectors have inspected the product.

Meat and poultry products not bearing the mark of inspection and shipped from one official establishment to another must be transported under FSIS seal to prevent such unmarked product from entering 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 to import product into the U.S. and annually certify that its inspection system is equivalent 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 product. The amount of meat and poultry product imported into the United States is included in FSIS' annual Report to Congress. Additionally, the Agency has established procedures allowing establishments importing product to stamp such product with the inspection legend before FSIS inspection, if they receive FSIS prior approval.

FSIS has made the following estimates based upon an information collection assessment:

Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it will take respondents an average of 24 hours per annum to collect and submit this information to FSIS.

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

Estimated No. of Respondents: 5,436.

Estimated No. of Annual Responses per Respondent: 294.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 127,838 hours.

Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from John O'Connell, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 112, Washington, DC 20250-3700, (202) 720-5627, (202) 720-0345.

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, Start Printed Page 36055and 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 the 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 Reduction Act Coordinator, 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

Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, in an effort to ensure that the public and in particular minorities, women, and persons with disabilities, are aware of this notice, FSIS will announce it on-line through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​regulations/​2006_​Notices_​Index/​index.asp.

FSIS also will make copies of this Federal Register publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, recalls, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The update is communicated via Listserv, a free e-mail subscription service consisting of industry, trade, and farm groups, consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, scientific professionals, and other individuals who have requested to be included. The update also is available on the FSIS web page. Through Listserv and the web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience.

In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​news_​and_​events/​email_​subscription/​. Options range from recalls to export information to regulations, directives and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves and have the option to password protect their account.

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Done at Washington, DC, on June 20, 2006.

Barbara J. Masters,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. E6-9947 Filed 6-22-06; 8:45 am]

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