2016-2017 Regulatory Cooperation Council Work Plan - Meat

Department/Agency

United States us flag

United States Department of Agriculture Animal - Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS)

Canada canadian flag

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Regulatory area to be addressed

Meat Inspection and Certification

In the area of meat inspection and certification, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will work together, where feasible, to achieve closer alignment between their slaughter and processed meat inspection system requirements, eliminate unnecessary or duplicative requirements, and identify areas of mutual interest and collaboration for modernization based on the best available science, technological advances and their respective meat inspection modernization approaches. This work will also enable CFIA and FSIS to further streamline the efficient export and import of meat through electronic certification processes.

Stakeholders will be provided progress updates during the year on initiatives through the USDA-CFIA Regulatory Partnership Committee, as well as during annual stakeholder meetings.

Stakeholders will have additional opportunities to provide input and engage with USDA and CFIA senior leadership and technical staff on medium- and long-term priorities as part of the binational annual work planning process.

Work Stream A

Facilitating Trade of Meat and Meat Products: CFIA and FSIS have extensive lists of requirements regulating meat and meat products between Canada and the United States. Stakeholders and regulators agree on the need for a comprehensive review and update of their respective export libraries to provide a more coherent, streamlined and less cumbersome process to facilitate efficient import and export of meat and meat products.

Long-Term Objective:

To eliminate unnecessary or duplicative export requirements of Canada and the U.S. and to develop a joint approach to audits.

Mid-Term:
  1. CFIA and FSIS will assess and, to the greatest extent possible, implement the Canadian Meat Council (CMC) and the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) proposal to streamline export requirements, in support of new electronic certification platforms;
  2. CFIA and FSIS will collaborate to identify an approach to conduct their respective audits.
Short-Term:
  1. With the input of industry stakeholders, CFIA and FSIS have agreed to review the combined efforts of the CMC and the NAMI to develop an initial proposal for consideration, which is aimed at streamlining export library requirements on both sides of the border;
  2. CFIA and FSIS will implement corrective actions as agreed and/or provide evidence of how outcomes are achieved to address previous audit findings that remain unresolved.
Initiative A: Improved Export Library
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables Date
1. Completion of the industry review of the FSIS Export Library and Canadian Meat Hygiene Chapter requirements and development of an initial proposal for consideration by CFIA and FSIS. 2017
2. CFIA and FSIS will review and assess the industry proposal, and update the FSIS export library and CFIA requirements. 2017
Initiative B: Audits
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables Date
1. Conclude work on Canadian and U.S. equivalence audits. January/February 2017
2. Determine the scope and development of an approach to future audits. 2017

Work Stream B

Enhancing Regulatory Alignment: Canada and the U.S. are philosophically aligned with respect to the direction of modernization of the oversight of the slaughter process and have both undertaken extensive work to modernize in this area.

Long-Term Objective:

CFIA and FSIS will build on their individual experiences in modernization of oversight of slaughter processes by combining their technical knowledge to maximize the alignment of slaughter inspection systems in both countries with common elements that are recognized as equivalent by Canada and the U.S.

Mid-Term:

Consider extension of the slaughter inspection system cooperation to beef and minor species; focus on aligning inspection protocols with a view for slaughter inspection protocols to be determined equivalent, thereby avoiding the need for additional inspection steps solely for export.

Short-Term:

Compare U.S. and Canadian HACCP-based hog inspection protocols, identify inspection activities that may not yield the desired food safety outcomes, identify options to develop equivalent and compatible inspection protocols for the slaughter of hogs in Canada and the U.S.

Work towards the alignment of outcome-based chilling requirements for raw poultry meat and testing methodologies in order to streamline regulatory requirements.

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables by date (Work stream B)
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables Date
1. Collaborate on hog slaughter modernization with the intent to further align and co-develop common inspection procedures and controls. 2017
2. Complete equivalence reviews to achieve alignment of outcome-based chilling requirements for raw poultry meat. December 2016
3. Seek to identify mechanisms to align testing methodologies. May 2017

Work stream C

Electronic Certification: Electronic exchange of certificates (e-Cert) will increase the efficiency of the exchange of certificates between importing and exporting countries, improve reporting and security of the transmission of the certificates, and reduce the opportunity for fraudulent activity. This work plan builds upon existing initiatives within our respective countries to provide electronic service delivery to industry stakeholders.

Long-Term Objective:

Work collaboratively to further streamline the efficient export and import of products through electronic certification processes by identifying priorities, assessing business impacts and technical options for the exchange of electronic certificates.

Mid-Term:
  1. Develop and implement our respective electronic platforms as required;
  2. Establish guidance on the use of our respective systems for stakeholders to facilitate electronic certification.
Short-Term:
  1. Initiate cooperative discussions to exchange information about the status of the development of our respective systems;
  2. Exchange technical information that will facilitate the enablement of electronic certification.
Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables by date (Work stream C)
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables Date
1. Continue cooperative discussions to exchange information about the status of the development of our respective systems. September 2016
2. Exchange technical information that will facilitate the enablement of electronic certification. September 2016 – November 2017
3. Establish guidance on the use of our respective systems for stakeholders to facilitate electronic certification. 2017
4. Build and implement our respective electronic platforms as required. 2018
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