News and Notices
This page provides announcements and links for documents, press releases, meeting notices, and activities of the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program. The items are presented in reverse chronological order so the most recent links are listed at the top.
2009 | 2010Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
Vietnam reforms regulations of the Social Republic of Vietnam for imported foods
Vietnam is now requiring Appendix 3 of the Circular 25 Guiding On the Food Hygiene and Safety Control For Imported Foodstuffs of Animal Origin. In order for products to be allowed into commerce in Vietnam this information must be given by the exporter to the Government of Vietnam.
Vietnam requires all exporters that wish to export meat and poultry products to complete “Circular 25 Appendix 3 Document” before December 31, 2010. Exporters should work closely with importers and with industry organizations such as USMEF and USAPEEC for assistance in obtaining the Circular 25 form, Appendix 3, and submitted to U.S. Embassy Hanoi staff on or before Friday, December 31, 2010.
A dedicated e-mail account (email@example.com) has been activated to receive completed Appendix 3 documents for beef, pork, poultry, and seafood exporters. Foreign Agriculture Service - Washington and Hanoi will access this account each business day between now and December 31, 2010. Exporters can also fax completed Appendix 3 documents directly to FAS Hanoi at: (011 – 84 – 4) 3850 – 5130. Additionally, completed Appendix 3 documents will be delivered in batches to NAFIQAD each business day until the deadline.
Link to USDC Notice to Industry
Link to Appendix 3
Link to Appendix 3 Example (completed form)
Link to Official Vietnam Circular
Fee Adjustment for Export Certificates to Europe- Effective December 1, 2010
Effective December 1, 2010, the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program will adjust the fees and charges for export certification services to the European Union. The adjusted fees are outlined in a memorandum, linked below, and vary depending on whether the plant is a contract or non-contract client of the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program. The NOAA Seafood Inspection Program relies entirely on fee-for-service to fund its operating costs.
90-day Grace Period for Inspection of U.S. seafood exports to Russia
Within 90 days, U.S. seafood firms in the supply chain desiring to produce, pack, store, or ship fish and fishery products for export to the Russian Federation must meet the requirements of the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program to be “approved establishments” in accordance with the regulations and policies of the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program. Only establishments approved by the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program and subsequently approved by Rosselkhoznadzor, the Russian food safety agency, may receive certification from NOAA for export to the Russian Federation. NOAA will allow a 90 day grace period after which U.S. seafood firms must fully comply with the new requirements. The new export procedure is in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding approved by United States and Russian officials and required under Russian law. Read more about the specific requirements in the Federal Register notice, below.
Link to Federal Register Notice
Link to Memorandum of Understanding
CORRECTION: Regulation allowing U.S. Bivalve Imports into Europe Expires July 1st
Correction to 6/29/2010 posting below-- Beginning July 1, 2010, a European Commission Regulation allowing import of ANY molluscan shellfish and certain marine invertebrates (not only live and fresh product) from the United States expired. As a result, imports of live, fresh, frozen or processed products containing molluscan shellfish, echinoderms, tunicates, or marine gastropods from the United States are no longer accepted for import into Europe at this time.
Regulation allowing U.S. Bivalve Imports into Europe Expires July 1st
Beginning July 1, 2010, a European Commission Regulation allowing import of live and fresh molluscan shellfish and certain marine invertebrates from the U.S. will expire. This is expected to halt the import of these products into the European Union (EU) at that time. Until the products are again allowed to enter, the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program will not issue export health certificates for these products.
The Regulation includes, live and fresh bivalve mollusks, echinoderms, tunicates, and marine gastropods from all U.S. states. Shellfish from the five states bordering the Gulf of Mexico are already not allowed into the EU for other reasons. Wild scallop meats, fresh or frozen, will be allowed entry; whole scallops or scallop adductor muscles with the roe attached will not be allowed.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union have been in discussion about the reciprocal equivalence between the nations for live mollusks. The EU agreed to a six month temporary authorization allowing U.S. exports to continue through July 1, 2010. The differences have not been resolved.
Questions or concerns should be directed to Mr. Paul Distefano at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org.Link to European Commission Decision (2009/951/EU; 14 December 2010)
FDA emphasizes HACCP requirements in light of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
The FDA posted an open letter to the seafood industry on June 14, 2010 regarding HACCP steps related to addressing the oil spill accident of April 20, 2010. The letter specifically addresses FDA’s regulations and policy concerning the food safety hazard of environmental chemical contaminants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS) from crude oil.
NOAA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are taking additional steps to enhance inspection measures designed to ensure that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico reaching America’s tables is safe to eat.
Link to FDA Letter to industry
Link to Joint NOAA-FDA press release
Russian Federation requires U.S. exporters to list Russian importers
As many American exporters to the Russian Federation are aware, there are new certification and licensing requirements for the movement of seafood into Russia. The U.S. Government has had to provide to the Russian authorities a list of companies whose plants meet Russian requirements. Russian importers must be licensed to import product from individual companies. The Russian authorities have therefore asked for lists of Russian importers of U.S. products on a company-by-company basis.
Link to Cover Letter to All Seafood Processing Facilities Shipping Fish and Fishery Products to the
Link to VPSS request
Online Request System Further Upgraded
The NOAA Seafood Inspection Program announces further upgrades to the Online Request System through which customers may request export certification. This week, several more enhancements were added to improve the usability and functionality of the system. The upgrades made this week include:
- Enhanced product form modification to allow customer requests for new product forms to be added more quickly.
- Ability to search by certificate number, inspector name, and company name to more easily locate records or check the status of certificates.
- Pagination for certificate viewing to speed searches of large numbers of certificates.
Link to Online Request System
Online Request System Upgraded to Improve Usability and Functionality
The NOAA Seafood Inspection Program is continually upgrading the Online Request System through which customers may request export certification. This week, several enhancements were launched to improve the usability and functionality of the system. Revisit this page as we will periodically announce future upgrades as they are implemented in the system. The upgrades made this week include:
- “Edit Product” button – now when customers add a product to a certificate, it can be edited if a correction is needed without deleting the information to begin again.
- Automatic Log Out -- Due to security reasons, when a user is “inactive” for 30 minutes the system will automatically log that user out of the system. There is now a statement explaining this feature and a warning message that appears five minutes before the automatic log out feature allowing the user to save his or her work.
- Product Names-- The lists of fishery products and scientific names have been expanded so products previously not appearing in pull down menus are now available for use on certificates.
- Edit Product and Presentation-- The product and presentation fields are automatically populated by the system as items are selected from pull down menus. However, the field may now be edited by the customer allowing the customer to modify the certificate to match the labels on the product packaging and other documentation.
- Custom Certificate Naming—Customers may customize the certificate electronic file name in the system to improve recordkeeping.
Link to Online Request System
Agreement with Russian Federation Finalized; Effective March 1, 2010 Certification Required for Export to Russia
Beginning March 1, 2010, U.S. exports of fish and fishery products to the Russian Federation must be accompanied by an export health certificate issued by the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program. Certificates may only be issued for fish and fishery products produced in establishments published on a list maintained by the Seafood Inspection Program and provided to the Russian government. The list will be updated by the Seafood Inspection Program periodically. Russian officials will make the list available on a Russian government website. The procedure for U.S. exports to Russia is in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding approved by United States and Russian officials and required under Russian law. Contact the Inspection Office nearest your location for more information about how to meet the certification requirements of the new agreement.
Link to Memorandum of Understanding
Agreement with Russian Federation Signed by U.S. Government Official; In Transit to Russia for Completion
The inspection agreement, or Memorandum of Understanding, between the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program and the Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service of the Russian Federation was approved by all of the necessary Departments within the U.S. Government and signed by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the NOAA Administrator, on January 27, 2010. The document is in transit to Russia for final signature by Russian officials before the February 1, 2010 deadline for completion.
U.S. Department of Commerce/NOAA Fisheries • 1315 East West Highway • Silver Spring, MD 20910 • Phone (301) 427-8300 • Toll Free (800) 422-2750
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- "An informed society that has confidence in the seafood that they purchase, sell and consume today and in the future."
- To ensure the safety and quality as well as enhance the marketability and sustainability of seafood products for the benefit of the American consumer by providing science based inspection services to the seafood industry.