FSIS has published an audit of China’s poultry slaughter system, along with a follow-up audit of China’s poultry processing system. The poultry slaughter audit shows that China’s poultry slaughter inspection system meets the criteria for establishing equivalence, or eligibility to export poultry that was slaughtered in China’s facilities. While the poultry slaughter audit report has been finalized, FSIS still must take a number of steps before it can make a final determination as to whether China is equivalent and thus eligible to export poultry that was slaughtered in Chinese establishments to the United States.
FSIS will need to conduct public rulemaking, which includes publishing a proposal and providing a comment period. The audit report will be evidence that is considered by FSIS as part of the rulemaking along with the comments and other evidence that the Agency receives from the public.
The follow-up audit of China’s poultry processing system shows that system is still equivalent and China remains eligible to export processed poultry from approved sources to the United States. Since this determination was made in 2013, to date, no processed poultry has been shipped from China to the United States.
FSIS notes that even if it concludes that the Chinese poultry slaughter system is equivalent, there will be limitations on what product China can send to the United States. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulations prohibit raw poultry from entering the U.S. from China because certain animal diseases are present in China. Therefore, if China is determined to be equivalent for poultry slaughter, that product would also need to be cooked and processed in China before being exported to the United States. FSIS has made a copy of the audits available online and has updated its FAQ on China’s equivalence status to reflect this report’s finalization. Here is a link to the audit reports: www.fsis.usda.gov/foreignauditreportsand here is a link to FAQs on this topic: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/news-releases-statements-transcripts/news-release-archives-by-year/archive/2016/faq-china-030416.