2002N-0278 - Prior Notice of Imported Food Under the Publich Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002; Notice of Availability of Joint FDA-CBP Plan for Increasing Integration and Assessing the Coordination of Prior Notice Timeframes
FDA Comment Number : EC473
Submitter : Ms. Susan Hays Date & Time: 05/17/2004 06:05:47
Organization : Wild Bird Feeding Industry
Category : Animal Feed Industry
Issue Areas/Comments
Comment on Question 5: To allow items imported under food product categories to qualify for expedited prior notice could easily lead to abuse of the system intended to protect us from terrorist attack. All food products should be treated in the same manner and subject to the same regulations.
The lack of knowledge of FDA and CBP inspectors in the area of agricultural commodities is resulting in more unnecessary delays and higher expense than the food product category classification. Since the implementation of the regulations, information from FDA and CBP is inconsistent and incomplete, with arbitrary decisions impacting US businesses at a time when most companies must operate on a JIT basis because of the slow US economy. It is difficult to impossible to resolve situations on a timely basis because of the work overload being experienced by these FDA and CBP individuals as a result of the hastily implemented Homeland Security regulations. We suggest FDA and CBP approach the situation in a businesslike manner to see competent solutions to the benefit of US businesses.

Comment on Question 6: We believe all timeframes under the Prior Notice (PN) final rule should be one hundred percent coordinated between US agencies. The entire prior notice process should be seamless, with an automated system. FDA timeframes for submitting the PN should be sortened to be the same as CBP's advanced electronic information timeframes. This will present a more streamlined flow of information and avoid unnecessary duplication.
In addition, the current FDA requirement of a separate PN for each product sku presents an overwhelming volume of work for exporters. By providing space to register a listing of products, sizes, colors, etc. for each shipment on one PN would resolve this problem. The FDA would still have advanced visibility of the items being imported while reducing the exporter's time and expense associated with the overwhelming administrative workload within the curent system.