U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jun 30, 2022

§ 60.400 - Recordkeeping requirements.

(a) General. (1) All records must be legible and may be maintained in either electronic or hard copy formats. Due to the variation in inventory and accounting documentary systems, various forms of documentation and records will be acceptable.

(2) Upon request by USDA representatives, suppliers and retailers subject to this subpart shall make available to USDA representatives, records maintained in the normal course of business that verify an origin claim and method of production (wild and/or farm-raised). Such records shall be provided within 5 business days of the request and may be maintained in any location.

(b) Responsibilities of suppliers. (1) Any person engaged in the business of supplying a covered commodity to a retailer, whether directly or indirectly, must make available information to the buyer about the country(ies) of origin and method(s) of production (wild and/or farm-raised), of the covered commodity. This information may be provided either on the product itself, on the master shipping container, or in a document that accompanies the product through retail sale provided that it identifies the product and its country(ies) of origin and method(s) of production. In addition, the supplier of a covered commodity that is responsible for initiating a country(ies) of origin and method(s) of production (wild and/or farm-raised) claim must possess records that are necessary to substantiate that claim for a period of 1 year from the date of the transaction. Producer affidavits shall also be considered acceptable records that suppliers may utilize to initiate origin claims, provided it is made by someone having first-hand knowledge of the origin of the covered commodity and identifies the covered commodity unique to the transaction.

(2) Any intermediary supplier handling a covered commodity that is found to be designated incorrectly as to the country of origin and/or method of production (wild and/or farm-raised) shall not be held liable for a violation of the Act by reason of the conduct of another if the intermediary supplier relied on the designation provided by the initiating supplier or other intermediary supplier, unless the intermediary supplier willfully disregarded information establishing that the country of origin and/or method of production (wild and/or farm-raised) declaration was false.

(3) Any person engaged in the business of supplying a covered commodity to a retailer, whether directly or indirectly (i.e., including but not limited to harvesters, producers, distributors, handlers, and processors), must maintain records to establish and identify the immediate previous source (if applicable) and immediate subsequent recipient of a covered commodity for a period of 1 year from the date of the transaction.

(4) For an imported covered commodity (as defined in § 60.200(f)), the importer of record as determined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, must ensure that records: provide clear product tracking from the port of entry into the United States to the immediate subsequent recipient and accurately reflect the country of origin and method of production (wild and/or farm-raised) of the item as identified in relevant CBP entry documents and information systems; and must maintain such records for a period of 1 year from the date of the transaction.

(c) Responsibilities of retailers. (1) In providing the country of origin and method of production (wild and/or farm-raised) notification for a covered commodity, in general, retailers are to convey the origin and method of production information provided to them by their suppliers. Only if the retailer physically commingles a covered commodity of different origins and/or methods of production in preparation for retail sale, whether in a consumer-ready package or in a bulk display (and not discretely packaged) (i.e., full service fish case), can the retailer initiate a multiple country of origin and/or method of production designation that reflects the actual countries of origin and method of production for the resulting covered commodity.

(2) Records and other documentary evidence relied upon at the point of sale to establish a covered commodity's country(ies) of origin and designation of wild and/or farm-raised must either be maintained at the retail facility or at another location for as long as the product is on hand and provided to any duly authorized representative of USDA in accordance with § 60.400(a)(2). For pre-labeled products, the label itself is sufficient information on which the retailer may rely to establish the product's origin and method(s) of production (wild and/or farm-raised) and no additional records documenting origin and method of production information are necessary.

(3) Records that identify the covered commodity, the retail supplier, and for products that are not pre-labeled, the country of origin information and the method(s) of production (wild and/or farm-raised) must be maintained for a period of 1 year from the date the declaration is made at retail.

(4) Any retailer handling a covered commodity that is found to be designated incorrectly as to the country of origin and/or the method of production (wild and/or farm-raised) shall not be held liable for a violation of the Act by reason of the conduct of another if the retailer relied on the designation provided by the supplier, unless the retailer willfully disregarded information establishing that the country of origin and/or method of production declaration was false.