In December of 2013, an Agreement on Animal Foods was finalized between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The agreement is a result of the American Feed Industry Association’s efforts to inform the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service about several issues that industry has had exporting to various markets including but not limited to Brazil’s requirement for good manufacturing practices certifications and products under the implementation of China’s AQSIQ Decree 118.
The need to find a feed export certification solution for the increasingly popular requirements being put out by several countries ultimately led to AMS working with FDA and FAS to develop an agreement that would allow AMS to serve as the competent authority for feeds and register, audit and certify feed facilities as needed based on foreign requirements. The agreement was modeled after a previous FDA-AMS agreement on processed egg programs. This is a voluntary certification program done on a fee-basis.
This program will not be implemented across the board for all feed and feed ingredient products to all markets. Instead, it will be addressed on a country-by-country basis. AFIA will identify markets where the feed and feed ingredient industry is currently experiencing export difficulties related to certifications on foreign requirements present these suggestions to AMS. AMS will then work with the foreign government to determine if there is an opportunity for AMS to fulfill the requirements. The hope is for AMS to develop a program and certificate that could be used across several export market requirements, rather than creating a separate certificate for each market.
AMS would establish a program for verification of the feed and pet food products identified in need of certification. AMS would then verify the product was produced in a processing facility in accordance with good manufacturing practices under sanitary conditions to certify the products meet the foreign government import requirements. If AMS determines that a company meets the established certification requirements, the company would be listed as eligible for export by country on the AMS website. An eligible company would contact AMS for an export certificate covering accepted product and identify the foreign country. FDA has cleared the model certificate, along with certain attestations, and the scope of work proposed by AMS. The certificates and verifications would be completed by AMS on a fee basis.
The trade facilitative potential of the agreement on animal food between FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the AMS is significant. In 2012 alone, the U.S. exported more than $45 billion in animal foods and animal food ingredients (including soybeans) worldwide. Although it is difficult to predict how much trade may be facilitated by the agreement on animal foods between FDA and AMS, with industry and FDA leadership clearly in strong support of the agreement, we believe the potential is significant, and that the scope of the agreement will grow over time.
For more information, contact Gina Tumbarello, AFIA manager of international trade, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 558-3561.