U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jun 09, 2023

§ 327.6 - Products for importation; program inspection, time and place; application for approval of facilities as official import inspection establishment; refusal or withdrawal of approval; official numbers.

(a)(1) Except as provided in §§ 327.16 and 327.17, all products offered for entry from any foreign country shall be reinspected by a Program inspector before they shall be allowed entry into the United States.

(2) Every lot of product shall routinely be given visual inspection by a Program import inspector for appearance and condition, and checked for certification and label compliance.

(3) The electronic inspection system shall be consulted for reinspection instructions. The electronic inspection system will assign reinspection levels and procedures based on established sampling plans and established product and plant history.

(4) When the inspector deems it necessary, the inspector may sample and inspect lots not designated by the electronic inspection system.

(b) All products, required by this part to be inspected, shall be inspected only at an official establishment or at an official import inspection establishment approved by the Administrator as provided in this section. Such approved official import inspection establishments will be listed in the Directory of Meat and Poultry Inspection Program Establishments, Circuits and Officials, published by the Food Safety and Inspection Service. The listing will categorize the kind or kinds of product 2 which may be inspected at each official import inspection establishment, based on the adequacy of the facilities for making such inspections and handling such products in a sanitary manner.

1 [Reserved]

2 For example: Canned product, boneless meat, carcasses and cuts.

(c) Owners or operators of establishments, other than official establishments, who want to have import inspections made at their establishments, shall apply to the Administrator for approval of their establishments for such purpose. Application shall be made on a form furnished by the Program, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC, and shall include all information called for by that form.

(d) Approval for Federal import inspection shall be in accordance with part 304 of this subchapter.

(e) Owners or operators of official import inspection establishments must furnish adequate sanitary facilities and equipment for examination of such product. The requirements of §§ 304.2, 307.1, 307.2(b), (d), (f), (h), (k), and (l), and part 416 of this chapter shall apply as conditions for approval of establishments as official import inspection establishments to the same extent and in the same manner as they apply with respect to official establishments.

(f) The Administrator is authorized to approve any establishment as an official import inspection establishment provided that an application has been filed and drawings have been submitted in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section and he determines that such establishment meets the requirements under paragraph (e) of this section. Any application for inspection under this section may be denied or refused in accordance with the rules of practice in part 500 of this chapter.

(g) Approval of an official import inspection establishment may be withdrawn in accordance with applicable rules of practice if it is determined that the sanitary conditions are such that the product is rendered adulterated, that such action is authorized by section 21(b) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (84 Stat. 91), or that the requirements of paragraph (e) of this section were not complied with. Approval may also be withdrawn in accordance with section 401 of the Act and applicable rules of practice.

(h) A special official number shall be assigned to each official import inspection establishment. Such number shall be used to identify all products inspected and passed for entry at the establishment.

(i) A sampling inspection shall be made, as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, of foreign chilled fresh or frozen fresh meat, including defrosting if necessary to determine its condition. Inspection standards for foreign chilled fresh or frozen fresh meat shall be the same as those used for domestic chilled fresh or frozen fresh meat. (See § 327.21)

(j) Imported canned products are required to be sound, healthful, properly labeled, wholesome, and otherwise not adulterated at the time the products are offered for importation into the United States. Provided other requirements of this part are met, the determination of the acceptability of the product and the condition of the containers shall be based on the results of an examination of a statistical sample drawn from the consignment as provided in paragraph (a) of this section. If the inspector determines, on the basis of the sample examination, that the product does not meet the requirements of the Act and regulations thereunder, the consignment shall be refused entry. However, a consignment rejected for container defects but otherwise acceptable may be reoffered for inspection under the following conditions:

(1) If the defective containers are not indicative of an unsafe and unstable product as determined by the Administrator;

(2) If the number and kinds of container defects found in the original sample do not exceed the limits specified for this purpose in FSIS guidelines; and

(3) If the defective containers in the consignment have been sorted out and exported or destroyed under the supervision of an inspector.

(k) Program inspectors or Customs officers at border or seaboard ports shall report the sealing of cars, trucks, or other means of conveyance, and the sealing or identification of containers of foreign product on Form MP–410 to Program area supervisors at points where such product is to be inspected.

(l) Representative samples of canned product designated by the Administrator in instructions to inspectors shall be incubated under supervision of such inspectors in accordance with § 318.309 (d)(1)(ii), (d)(1)(iii), (d)(1)(iv)(c), (d)(1)(v), (d)(1)(vii) and (d)(1)(viii) of this subchapter. The importers or his/her agent shall provide the necessary incubation facilities in accordance with § 318.309(d)(1)(i) of this subchapter.

(m) Sampling plans and acceptance levels as prescribed in paragraphs (j) and (l) of this section may be obtained, upon request, from International Programs, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250.

[35 FR 15610, Oct. 3, 1970, as amended at 37 FR 21927, Oct. 17, 1972; 38 FR 29215, Oct. 23, 1973; 49 FR 36818, Sept. 20, 1984; 51 FR 37707, Oct. 24, 1986; 51 FR 45633, Dec. 19, 1986; 54 FR 274, Jan. 5, 1989; 54 FR 41048, Oct. 5, 1989; 62 FR 45026, Aug. 25, 1997; 64 FR 56416, Oct. 20, 1999; 64 FR 66545, Nov. 29, 1999; 65 FR 2284, Jan. 14, 2000; 79 FR 56233, Sept. 19, 2014]