US Now Requires Prior Notice of All Imported Food
Non-compliant shipments will be denied entry, US Customs says
WASHINGTON, DC - 06/04/04 - Starting today, federal authorities will require advance notice of all food imports destined for the US, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The measure - Phase III of the 2003 Bioterrorism Act (BTA) - will "enhance the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) bureau's ability to detect potential bio- and agro-terrorism," said CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner.
The regulation requires shippers and exporters of food products to file notice with CBP and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) two hours in advance for truck shipments, four hours in advance for rail and air shipments, and eight hours in advance for sea shipments with failure to provide prior notice resulting in the merchandise being refused entry.
The Phase III implementation will hold goods, which have not given prior notification, at the port of entry or at a FDA registered secure facility. The carrier will have the opportunity to voluntarily export the items if compliance with the BTA cannot be accomplished in a timely manner or at all.
The exception is for transportation and exportation entries, which require that prior notice be filed at the port of arrival before movement can be authorized.
Prior to today's implementation, FDA and CBP have made numerous presentations to foreign government officials and domestic and foreign industry members via live satellite broadcasts, videoconferences around the world, and coordinated a massive distribution of outreach materials, all of which described the rules and the plan to enforce them.
For more information on the new BTA Phase III regulation go to www.fda.gov.
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