The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture The USDA reported that it has completed its review of the Dominican Republic’s documented inspection system for raw and intact beef products.
They said, through letters sent to the General Directorate of Medicines, Food and Sanitary Products (Digemaps) of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) and Jaime Rafael Santoni Hernández, head of the Veterinary Services, that the review of the Self-Report Tool (SRT) of the Dominican Republic, responses and documentation, as well as an in-country audit conducted September 13-23, 2021, support that the Dominican Republic’s intact raw beef product inspection system is equivalent.
“The Dominican Republic will be eligible to export raw, intact beef products derived from cattle slaughtered on or after April 29, 2022, to the United States. In order to facilitate the acceptance of raw intact beef products exported from the Dominican Republic at the point of entry into the United States,” says Michelle Catlin, USDA executive.
He states that FSIS is providing additional information on the country’s new eligibility and that the next steps in relation to it are import requirements, labeling requirements, individual health measures, and the Self-Report Tool (SRT).
They clarify that as of April 29, 2022, the Dominican Republic can certify the establishments that the General Directorate of Medicines, Food and Sanitary Products (DIGEMAPS), Department of Food and Beverage Risk Control (Food Department) has determined that meet the requirements to export intact meat products to the United States.
They specify that the Dominican Republic may only export products from certified establishments on this list. In addition, Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations (9 CFR) requires that each shipment of meat (beef) products imported into the United States have a foreign inspection certificate issued by a Digemaps/Department of Food official.
“The foreign inspection certificate must accompany each shipment; be presented to import inspection personnel at the official FSIS import inspection establishment; be written in English; and bear the official seal of the government of the Dominican Republic responsible for the inspection of meat (beef) products, as well as the name, position and signature of the official authorized to issue inspection certificates,” reads the letter.
Likewise, it clarifies that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA determines the eligibility of animal products to enter the United States based on the sanitary situation of the exporting countries.
For specific information on APHIS import requirements applicable to the Dominican Republic, they recommend contacting USDA-APHIS via email: [email protected]