United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing updates to its regulations for the export of live animals and hatching eggs. Since it last updated these regulations, business practices have evolved significantly and other countries have changed their livestock import requirements.
The proposed rule would remove from the regulations most of the requirements for export certifications, tests, and treatments. Exporters will work to meet the specific requirements of the importing country. APHIS will continue to retain certain export requirements considered necessary to ensure the health and welfare of the animals, such as issuance of export health certificates (EHCs) for livestock intended for export.
The proposed rule also includes the following changes:
- If an importing country requires an EHC for live animals other than livestock or for hatching eggs or animal germplasm, APHIS would require that the animals must be accompanied by the EHC to be eligible for export from the United States;
- Pre-export livestock inspection would be allowed to occur at facilities other than an export inspection facility at the port of embarkation, under certain circumstances; and
- Specific standards for export inspection facilities and ocean transport vessels would be replaced with performance standards.
These proposed changes are intended to provide additional flexibility to businesses and better support livestock exports to overseas markets, a segment of U.S. trade which continues to grow each year. The changes are part of APHIS’ ongoing effort to meet stakeholder needs by reviewing and streamlining its regulations. The goal is to make APHIS regulations more responsive to customer needs, easier to update in the future and more performance-based.
APHIS is seeking public comment on this proposal. Consideration will be given to comments received on or before April 27. Interested parties may submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal.