Sec. 123.12 Special requirements for imported products.
This section sets forth specific requirements for imported fish and fishery products.
(a) Importer verification. Every importer of fish or fishery products shall either:
(1) Obtain the fish or fishery product from a country that has an active memorandum of understanding (MOU) or similar agreement with the Food and Drug Administration, that covers the fish or fishery product and documents the equivalency or compliance of the inspection system of the foreign country with the U.S. system, accurately reflects the current situation between the signing parties, and is functioning and enforceable in its entirety; or
(2) Have and implement written verification procedures for ensuring that the fish and fishery products that they offer for import into the United States were processed in accordance with the requirements of this part. The procedures shall list at a minimum:
(i) Product specifications that are designed to ensure that the product is not adulterated under section 402 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because it may be injurious to health or have been processed under insanitary conditions, and,
(ii) Affirmative steps that may include any of the following:
(A) Obtaining from the foreign processor the HACCP and sanitation monitoring records required by this part that relate to the specific lot of fish or fishery products being offered for import;
(B) Obtaining either a continuing or lot-by-lot certificate from an appropriate foreign government inspection authority or competent third party certifying that the imported fish or fishery product is or was processed in accordance with the requirements of this part;
(C) Regularly inspecting the foreign processor's facilities to ensure that the imported fish or fishery product is being processed in accordance with the requirements of this part;
(D) Maintaining on file a copy, in English, of the foreign processor's HACCP plan, and a written guarantee from the foreign processor that the imported fish or fishery product is processed in accordance with the requirements of the part;
(E) Periodically testing the imported fish or fishery product, and maintaining on file a copy, in English, of a written guarantee from the foreign processor that the imported fish or fishery product is processed in accordance with the requirements of this part or,
(F) Other such verification measures as appropriate that provide an equivalent level of assurance of compliance with the requirements of this part.
(b) Competent third party. An importer may hire a competent third party to assist with or perform any or all of the verification activities specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, including writing the importer's verification procedures on the importer's behalf.
(c) Records. The importer shall maintain records, in English, that document the performance and results of the affirmative steps specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section. These records shall be subject to the applicable provisions of Sec. 123.9.
(d) Determination of compliance. There must be evidence that all fish and fishery products offered for entry into the United States have been processed under conditions that comply with this part. If assurances do not exist that the
imported fish or fishery product has been processed under conditions that are equivalent to those required of domestic processors under this part, the product will appear to be adulterated and will be denied entry.