USDA Clarifies Export Sales Rules on Pork, Beef

Cargo containers are primarily used on ships to haul goods. ( PughPugh / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 )

The USDA published its final rule on clarifications to the export sales reporting system in the Federal Register, after the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) received informal inquiries whether exports of different types of beef and pork carcasses must be reported under the regulations. 

USDA is modifying the regulations implementing the export sales reporting requirements of Section 602 of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978.

USDA is adding a footnote to clarify the descriptions for “fresh, chilled or frozen muscle cuts/whether or not boxed” for beef and pork in the appendix to the regulations, according to the Federal Register. The footnote includes an illustrative list of items that fall under these headings. This final rule should clarify the wording of the regulations to avoid further confusion.

“Total weight of carcasses reported may include minor non-reportable items attached to carcasses (e.g., hooves attached to carcasses),” reports Pro Farmer’s Jim Wiesemeyer. “Meats removed during the conversion of an animal to a carcass (e.g., variety meats such as beef/pork hearts, beef tongues, etc.) are not muscle cuts nor are items sold as bones practically free of meat (e.g., beef femur bones) or fat practically free of meat (e.g., pork clear plate) removed from a carcass.” 

This rule goes into effect on Monday. The Federal Register says this has been issued as a final rule without prior notice and opportunity for comment.

“USDA had signaled the update was coming in the regulatory agenda released last week and FAS had previously indicated it was going to update guidance to the trade on pork and beef reporting requirements under the export sales reporting system,” Wiesemeyer adds.

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