2002N-0278 - Small Entity Compliance Guides on Registration of Food Facilities and Prior Notice of Imported Food; Availability
FDA Comment Number : EC481
Submitter : Ms. Carolyn Goding Date & Time: 05/17/2004 06:05:47
Organization : International Automated Brokers
Private Industry
Category :
Issue Areas/Comments
In addition to the comments filed by the Pacific Coast Council on behalf of the 5 West Coast Brokers Associations, specifically the Washington State, Columbia River (Oregon), Northern California, Los Angeles, and San Diego, I submit the additional comments and note that International Automated Brokers fully supports the comments submitted by the PCC.

The lack of communication has magnified the problems associated with the anticipated implementation of the ACT in August 2004. As I understand it, the Food and Drug Administration has 3 defined capabilities within their own jurisdiction.

l. FDA can seize merchandise only with a court order.
2. FDA can file a restraining order via the court as well.
3. FDA can issue a letter of warning with the signature of a District Director or higher authority.

Any further action is via the U.S. Customs Border Protection. Customs will be acting on the verbal or written order of FDA, although this has not been defined or addressed. What type of penalties will be issued and to whom? Accordingly, without these procedures clearly defined, FP&F will proceed with the current policy of liquidated damages, which has always been unacceptable with the community and sureties.

The existing port practices in San Diego are as follows: if an ABI transmission is not received and "arrived by Customs" the truck is returned to Mexico via the import port, rather than the export port. To use the export port an in-bond document (7512) would be required. I have always questioned this particular practice because physically the trucks cross the international border, enter the U.S. Customs facility, thus being legally exported from Mexico. Furthermore, in San Diego there is a difinite lack of cross border in-bond carriers. Without guidance and communication of behalf of both agencies, what will happen in August of 2004? Can or will the current practice stay in place? What will happen to the fresh vegetables? These vegetables originate in the interior of Mexico, not locally in Tijuana. There is NO cold storage facilities located in the Otay Mesa facility.

Until all of the concerns of the of Pacific Coast Council are addressed and those of others, I admmadently protest the implementation date of August 2004. These concerns address computer systems changes and the ability to make changes via the prior notice system. It is completely unfair to the trade to go forward without these changes being addressed.