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Grading Certification and Verification
 
QAD Newsroom: 2014  
September 12, 2014

 
AMS Quality Assessment Division (QAD) has determined that the labeling of meat products, or variations of such, for “USDA Grass Fed” can be done at State inspected plants and is not limited to Federally Inspected (Food Safety & Inspection Service, or FSIS) facilities. State inspected plants must be operating under the Federal/State Cooperative Agreement for meat inspections. The State plant must be following all the Federal FSIS rules and regulations for applications, review and approval of the label. The State plant must also participate in and be approved by AMS QAD with a Quality Services Assessment (QSA) program for the ability to receive, harvest, fabricate and ultimately label the meat products as USDA Grass Fed, just like a federally inspected facility would have to.

 
For information on the Grass Fed program, please visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/GrassFedSVS

 
For more information on the QSA Program, please visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/QualitySystemsVerificationPrograms .

 
If you have questions, please contact our office.

 
June 18, 2014

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Hong Kong were revised. Effective June 17, 2014, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the EV Program for Hong Kong is no longer required to export beef and beef products to Hong Kong. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Hong Kong.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to Hong Kong.

 
If your company has an approved EV Program to export beef to Hong Kong,
1. Remove reference to Hong Kong from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to Hong Kong from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the QA Division if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the EV Program completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
May 13, 2014

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Mexico were revised. Effective May 12, 2014, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the EV Program for Mexico is no longer required to export beef and beef products to Mexico. Please note, the EV Program for Ovine and Caprine products to Mexico remains in effect. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Mexico.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to Mexico.

 
If your company has an approved EV Program to export beef to Mexico,
1. Remove reference to Mexico from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to Mexico from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the QA Division if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the EV Program completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
April 1, 2014

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Japan were revised. Effective April 1, 2014, scalded small intestines, scalded stomachs, scalded blood vessels (including scalded aortas) are eligible for export to Japan. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Japan.

 
Companies who are already approved for the QSA Program for Japan may add these items to their product list without an additional audit. If your company is not approved for the QSA Program for Japan, a desk audit and on-site audit are required for approval. Please make the necessary changes to your manual and submit to QAD.AuditService@ams.usda.gov for review. If there are any questions, please contact our office.

 
March 21, 2014

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Ecuador were revised on March 21, 2014. Ecuador now requires beef and beef products, including offal, must be derived from cattle that have been resident in the United States at least 60 days before slaughter and must be produced under an approved AMS EV program. Therefore, the QAD 1030W Procedure, USDA Export Verification (EV) Program for Ecuador was created. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Ecuador.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated include reference to Ecuador for the QAD 1030W Procedure, USDA Export Verification (EV) Program for Ecuador.

 
A desk audit and on-site audit are required for approval of the EV Program for Ecuador (PDF). Please make the necessary changes to your manual and submit to QAD.AuditService@ams.usda.gov for review.

 
March 18, 2014

 
QAD 1007 Procedure, QSVP Never Fed Beta Agonists Program has been updated. To review the updated document, please visit the website at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/QualitySystemsVerificationPrograms . If there are any questions, please contact our office.

 
November 18, 2013

 
As a result of the creation of the Quality Assessment Division, we have created a new email address to replace the former ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov address. The new email address is QAD.AuditService@ams.usda.gov . Therefore starting December 1, 2013, please send all emails that you would normally send to the ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov to QAD.AuditService@ams.usda.gov .
Audit requests, quality manuals, and LS-313 Applications for Service can be submitted by members of industry interested in participating in Auditing Programs, including EV Programs, PVP Program, QSA Program, NHTC Program, PFEU Program, Accredited Seed PVP Programs, USDA ISO Guide 65 Programs, the USDA National Organic Program, and USDA Certified Tender Programs. General questions about auditing programs, FSIS inquiries and MOUs can be submitted to this mailbox as well.
Please note, EV.Export@ams.usda.gov is still in use. Please continue to submit all product lists, supplier lists, High Quality Beef SOV requests, SOV-FP requests, and PPEV Certificate Requests to this email address.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
November 12, 2013

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Dominican Republic were revised. Effective November 6, 2013, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the EV Program for Bovine Less Than 30 (LT30) Months of Age is no longer required to export beef and beef products to Dominican Republic. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Dominican Republic.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to Dominican Republic under the EV Program for LT30 (ARC 1030A Procedure).

 
If your company has an approved EV Program to export beef to Dominican Republic under the EV Program for LT30 (ARC 1030A Procedure),

 
1. Remove reference to Dominican Republic from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to Dominican Republic from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the QA Division if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the EV Program for LT30 (ARC 1030A Procedure) completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
November 5, 2013

 
The GVD 1007 Procedure, Quality Systems Verification Program (QSVP), Never Fed Beta Agonists Program has been created. This program provides confirmation to customers that require verification of a marketing claim that beef and pork meat is derived from animals that were never fed beta agonists and is free of beta agonist residues. The Never Fed Beta Agonists marketing claim is available to companies that produce livestock, beef and pork products and submit marketing programs to the Livestock, Poultry and Seed (LPS) Program for verification and monitoring. Companies who wish to become approved for the Never Fed Beta Agonists Program can meet the requirements of this program through either the USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) or the USDA Quality System Assessment (QSA) Program.

 
If your company already has an approved PVP or QSA Program, you can update your program to include the Never Fed Beta Agonists Claim and submit your manuals for a significant change review to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov .

 
Companies that are not currently approved for the PVP or QSA may submit their quality manuals, including the requirements of the Never Fed Beta Agonists Program, to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov . A desk audit and onsite audit will be required to evaluate the procedures at your location.

 
The updated procedure can be accessed on the Quality Systems Verification Program web site. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
August 19, 2013

 
The Quality Assurance Division (QAD) has revised the following documents to allow for determination of age verification at the time of harvest using the dentition method in accordance with the FSIS reference document Using Dentition to Age Cattle.

 
Please direct any questions to the QAD Process Verified Program (PVP) or Quality Systems Assessment (QSA) Program Managers.

 
July 18, 2013

 
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently updated the web address of the FSIS Export Library. Their website has been moved to the following address: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products/export-library-requirements-by-country . As a result of this change, some of the information included in our documents may reference the old web address, however, we are working to update our documents. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
July 1, 2013

 
Effective June 30, 2013, the Grading and Verification Division (GVD) voluntarily terminated participation in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Voluntary Conformity Assessment Systems Evaluation Program (NVCASE) for the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program. The initial recognition was granted on April 27, 2009 and is valid through June 30, 2013. The GVD accreditation process had recently under gone and satisfactorily completed a NIST NVCASE reassessment. Now that the process is complete, the GVD will be voluntarily terminating participation in the NIST NVCASE Program in good standing.

 
As in the past prior to NIST NVCASE recognition, the GVD ISO Guide 65 Program will continue to be maintained and operated according to ISO Guide 17011 requirements. There will be no changes in policy or provision; and current USDA ISO Guide 65 company approvals will remain in effect.

 
The USDA ISO Guide 65 program was implemented in 1999 to address the needs of US organic certification bodies certifying product for shipment to the European Union. This was prior to the implementation of the USDA National Organic Program. Once the USDA NOP was established, the EU still continued to require certification bodies to comply with all requirements of ISO Guide 65. The driving force behind attaining recognition by NIST through the NVCASE Program was to meet the EU requirement for accrediting certification bodies to ISO Guide 65. Now that the USDA NOP has signed an agreement with the EU on equivalency for organic products, NVCASE recognition of the USDA ISO Guide 65 program is no longer needed for that purpose.

 
June 20, 2013

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Australia were revised on June 13, 2013. The following changes are effective immediately,

 
  • Ovine and caprine casings from sheep and goats slaughtered in the United States must be derived from animals that are less than 12 months of age, and produced under an approved AMS EV program for export to Australia.

 
  • If your company is already approved for the Ovine and Caprine EV Program, you can update your quality manual to include the requirements for Australia and submit your program to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov for a desk audit.

 
  • If your company is not approved for the Ovine and Caprine EV Program, a desk audit and onsite audit will be required before approval can be granted. Quality manuals must be submitted to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov .

 
Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Australia.

 
Updated product lists must be submitted to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov for review.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
June 4, 2013

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Japan were revised on June 3, 2013. The following changes are effective immediately.

 
  • Fresh/frozen raw ground beef is now eligible. If your company is already approved for the QSA LT30 Program for Japan and you wish to export ground beef to Japan, your company must update your EV Program. Please submit your updated quality manual to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov. A desk audit and onsite audit are required before companies can be approved to export ground beef to Japan. Options are available for a limited scope onsite audit, or companies may wait to be reviewed onsite during their next surveillance audit. Approval will not be granted for ground beef until after the onsite audit has been conducted.

 
  • For companies who are already approved for both the QSA LT30 Program for Japan and have been approved for ground beef to Mexico, these companies will not need an additional audit at this time, and can update their product lists to include raw ground beef for Japan effective June 3, 2013.

 
Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Japan.

 
Updated product lists must be submitted to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov for review.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
May 29, 2013

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Panama were revised. Effective May 28, 2013, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the EV Program for Panama is no longer required to export beef and beef products to Panama. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Panama.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to Panama under the EV Program for Bovine (ARC 1030U Procedure).

 
If your company has an approved EV Program to export beef to Panama under the EV Program for Bovine (ARC 1030U Procedure),
1. Remove reference to Panama from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to Panama from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the GV Division if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the EV Program for Bovine (ARC 1030U Procedure) completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
April 26, 2013

 
The GVD 1040 Procedure, Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program has been updated to include the Never Fed Beta Agonists Claim. This claim can be verified at live animal locations where beta agonists would normally be administered. Companies who are already approved for the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program and have had their feeding practices evaluated by USDA, may update their programs to include the Never Fed Beta Agonist Claim and submit their manuals for a significant change review to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov .

 
Companies that are not currently approved for the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program may submit their quality manuals, including the requirements of the LFCA Program, to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov. A desk audit and onsite audit will be required to evaluate the feeding practices at your location.

 
The updated procedure can be accessed on the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program Web site at www.ams.usda.gov/livestockfeedingclaimsauditprogram . If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
March 1, 2013

 
On March 1, 2013, the Grading and Verification Division announced the Onsite Audit Enhanced Program. The Onsite Audit Enhanced (OAE) Program allows for the use of the Process Verified Program (PVP) shield by clients with an approved USDA Quality System Assessment (QSA) Program to identify product produced from animals with marketing claims verified through a Approved USDA Live Animal Audit Program. These verified marketing claims may include, but are not limited to: age verified; source verified; non-hormone treated cattle (NTHC), grass (forage) fed; livestock feeding claims; and Never Ever 3.

 
To operate an approved Onsite Audit Enhanced Program, companies must incorporate the following requirements into their approved QSA Program: 1) Conduct internal audits at planned intervals; 2) Maintain a listing of approved suppliers; 3) Develop a procedure for control of promotional materials and/or the use of the PV shield; and 4) Meet the specified product requirements included in the GVD 1002A Procedure Section 8.

 
Companies who wish to be approved for the Onsite Audit Enhanced Program must incorporate the GVD 1002A Procedure requirements into their approved quality manual and undergo a desk audit and onsite audit. Please submit your updated quality manual to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov .

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
February 26, 2013

 
On February 25, 2013, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Hong Kong were revised. Effective February 25, 2013, eligible bone-in beef must be derived from cattle less than 30 months of age produced under the LT30 EV Program. Therefore, participation in the LT30 EV Program is required to export bone-in beef to this country. Boneless beef and beef products of all ages are now eligible for export to Hong Kong without an AMS EV Program. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements.

 
The PDF file of the Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated to include reference to Hong Kong for the EV Program.

 
Companies who were previously approved for the EV Program for Hong Kong will be listed as approved suppliers on the Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to the USDA Bovine EV Program for Hong Kong with an effective approval date for bone-in beef for February 25, 2013. Please work to incorporate the new requirements from the updated GVD 1030K EV Program for Hong Kong into you quality manual, which will be reviewed during the next surveillance audit. Once all boneless EV Program for Hong Kong pipeline product has been exported and your inventories are depleted, you may remove these product codes from your products list. Updates to your product list to include bone-in product codes (excluding vertebral column) for Hong Kong can be submitted to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov .

 
Companies without an approved LT30 EV Program:
Companies who wish to be approved for the EV Program for Hong Kong must incorporate the GVD 1030K Procedure into their approved quality manual and undergo a desk audit and onsite audit. Please submit your updated quality manual to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov .
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
February 1, 2013

 
On February 1, 2013, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Japan were revised. Effective February 1, 2013, beef and beef products produced from cattle slaughtered on or after this date, must be derived from cattle less than 30 months of age produced under the GVD 1035A Procedure, QSA LT30 Program for Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Therefore, participation in the QSA LT30 Program is required to export beef and beef products to this Japan. The EV Program for Japan as defined in the ARC 1030J Procedure will no longer apply for beef and beef products produced from cattle slaughtered on or after February 1, 2013. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements.

 

 
Companies with an approved EV Program for Japan will be listed as approved suppliers on the Official Listing of Approved Suppliers to the QSA LT30 Program for Japan, Korea, and Taiwan with an effective approval date of February 1, 2013. No changes are necessary to your program at this time. Once all EV Program for Japan pipeline product has been exported and your inventories are depleted, you may remove reference to the EV Program for Japan from your quality manual, and include reference to the GVD 1035A Procedure, QSA LT30 Program for Japan, Korea, and Taiwan in your quality manual, which will be reviewed during the next surveillance audit. If there are updates needed to your product list, please submit your revised product list to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov .

 
Companies with an approved LT30 EV Program, and/or who are approved for QSA Korea and Taiwan:
Companies that are approved for the LT30 EV Program, and/or QSA Korea and Taiwan Program, and who wish to export beef to Japan must submit an updated quality manual to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov with the following information to indicate that the applicable changes have been made to the program.

 
1. All requirements for the GVD 1035A Procedure must be incorporated into your approved quality manual, as well as the requirements of the EV Programs Additional Requirements document.
2. An internal audit must be conducted and submitted with your revised quality manual.
3. A desk audit, which may include a phone interview, will be conducted before your company can be approved for Japan. An onsite audit will not be necessary for approval at this time, but the QSA LT30 Program for Japan will be reviewed for implementation and effectiveness during your next surveillance audit.

 
Companies without an approved EV Program:
Companies who wish to be approved for the QSA LT30 Program for Japan must create a quality manual that incorporates the GVD 1002 USDA Quality System Assessment (QSA) Program, GVD 1035A Procedure, QSA LT30 Program for Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and EV Programs Additional Requirements document, as well as the requirements for any other EV Programs your company is interested in applying for. Once your quality manual is ready for review, please submit it by email to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov , along with the LS – 313 Application for Service. For more information on applying for auditing services, please visit Requesting Auditing Services. Both a desk audit and onsite audit will be required before approval can be granted.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
August 31, 2012

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Mexico were revised on August 31, 2012. The following changes are effective immediately,

 
  • Beef weasand meat, small intestines and head meat are now eligible and must be derived from animals less than 30 months of age and produced under an approved AMS EV Program.

 
  • Ground beef is now eligible, however, if you wish to export ground beef to Mexico, your company must update your EV Program. Please submit your updated quality manual to the GV Division. A desk audit and onsite audit are required before companies can be approved to export ground beef to Mexico. Options are available for a limited scope onsite audit, or companies may wait to be reviewed onsite during their next surveillance audit. Approval will not be granted for ground beef until after the onsite audit has been conducted.

 
Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Mexico.

 
Updated product lists must be submitted to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov for review.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
August 27, 2012

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for El Salvador were revised. Effective August 24, 2012, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the EV Program for El Salvador is no longer required to export beef and beef products to El Salvador. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for El Salvador.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to El Salvador under the EV Program for Bovine Less Than 30 Months of Age (LT30).

 
If your company has an approved EV Program to export beef to El Salvador under the EV Program for Bovine Less Than 30 Months of Age (LT30),
1. Remove reference to El Salvador from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to El Salvador from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the ARC Branch if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the EV Program for Bovine Less Than 30 Months of Age (LT30) completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
July 12, 2012

 
GVD (ARC) 1031 EV Program Requirements for Ovine and Caprine (PDF file) has been updated

 
It is not necessary to submit revised quality manuals at this time. If your company has updated your product list, it can be submitted to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov for review.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
June 8, 2012

 
Renaming of ARC documents to reflect GVD designation

 
This announcement is official notification that documents with file names designated as ARC or MGC can be considered synonymous with the documents containing the GVD file name designation.

 
On July 5, 2011, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Livestock and Seed Program (LSP) announced the consolidation of the Audit, Review and Compliance (ARC) and Meat Grading and Certification (MGC) Branches into the Grading and Verification Division (GVD). Over the past year, as the official ARC and MGC Instructions, Procedures, Forms, and other documentation have been revised they have been renamed replacing the ARC and MGC designation with GVD. In order to expedite this transition, the remainder of the ARC and MGC documents will have the file names changed to replace ARC and MGC with GVD. If the document has not undergone a substantial revision, the issue date will not be changed in the file name and document.

 
June 7, 2012

 
GVD (ARC) 1030B EV Program Requirements for Mexico (PDF file) has been updated.

 
It is not necessary to submit revised quality manuals at this time. If your company has updated your product list, it can be submitted to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov for review.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
February 7, 2012

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for United Arab Emirates were revised. Effective February 7, 2012, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the EV Program for United Arab Emirates is no longer required to export beef and beef products to United Arab Emirates. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for United Arab Emirates.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to United Arab Emirates under the EV Program for Bovine Less Than 30 Months of Age (LT30).

 
If your company has an approved EV Program to export beef to United Arab Emirates under the EV Program for Bovine Less Than 30 Months of Age (LT30),

 
1. Remove reference to United Arab Emirates from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to United Arab Emirates from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the ARC Branch if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the EV Program for Bovine Less Than 30 Months of Age (LT30) completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
January 26, 2012

 
On January 20, 2012, the GV Division posted two revised Procedures, one revised Guidance Document and one revised Checklist. The revised documents and a summary of the changes are listed below.

 
1. GVD ARC 1012 Procedure, USDA ISO Guide 65 Program, Accreditation for Certification Bodies 11 29 11. The changes would apply only to clients who request services under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program and include:

 
  • Section 4.4 has been updated to reflect not only the types of operations for the EU as defined in EC No 834/2007 Article 1, but also the 6 product categories; and

 
  • Section 11.3, 12.3 and 14.1 has been changed to require that “All offices from which one or more key activities are performed and which are covered by the scope of accreditation must be assessed.”

 
Numerous comments from interested parties and stakeholders were received by the GV Division. All comments were considered when making the final changes to the Procedure.

 
2. GVD ARC 00 QM 17011 Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies (ISO 17011) 11 29 11 - Revisions to Section 8.2.2 to verify suitable ways to obtain traceability of measurement results in relation to the scope for which accreditation is provided.

 
3. GVD ARC 1012E Checklist CB Private Standard EU Equivalency 11 29 11– changes made on page 3 of 54 to conform to ISO 17011 Section 8.2.2 to provide to the CAB information on ways to obtain traceability of measurement results in relation to the ISO/IEC Guide 65 Program

 
4. GU1147MMA Rev 01 EU Organic Regulations Applicable to CB’s 11 29 11 - changes made on page 76 of 96 to conform to ISO 17011 Section 8.2.2 to provide to the CAB information on ways to obtain traceability of measurement results in relation to the ISO/IEC Guide 65 Program

 
The changes in the documents are identified with red type and all documents can be found on USDA ISO Guide 65 Program Web site. Changes are effective immediately.

 
Thank you to those who took the time to submit comments. All comments were very much appreciated.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
January 6, 2012

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Mexico were revised on January 5, 2012. The following changes are effective immediately,

 
  • Beef livers, feet and thymus (sweetbreads) must be derived from animals less than 30 months of age and produced under an approved AMS EV Program.
  • Sheep and goat meat and carcasses can originate from animals of any age.
  • Sheep and goat offal, including heads, feet, must be derived from animals less than 12 months of age and be produced under an AMS EV Program.

 
Please visit the FSIS export website at

 
Updated product lists must be submitted to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov for review.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
December 9, 2011

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Mexico were revised on December 8, 2011. Effective immediately, sheep offal, including heads, feet, must be derived from animals less than 12 months of age and be produced under an AMS EV Program.

 
Please visit the FSIS export website at

 
Updated product lists must be submitted to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov for review.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
September 26, 2011

 
As of September 26, 2011, Lauren Kavanaugh will be assuming Samantha Simon’s Accreditation Program Manager responsibilities. If you have any questions or comments regarding this notification, please contact Lauren at Lauren.Kavanaugh@ams.usda.gov or 940-479-8102.

 
August 24, 2011

 
ISO 17011, Section 8.2.2 requires the ARC Branch to provide certification bodies with information about suitable ways to obtain traceability of measurement results in relation to the scope for which accreditation is provided.

 
To meet this requirement, the ARC Branch has determined that certification bodies must meet requirements outlined by the individual standards to which they certify. The USDA National Organic Program has issued NOP 2011 Instruction, Laboratory Selection Criteria for Pesticide Residue Testing, which outlines guidance for selecting laboratories and testing procedures. This Instruction is available on the USDA NOP Program Handbook Web site. The EU outlines its requirements in Chapter III of EC No 882/2004, as amended by EC No 1029/2008. These regulations are available on the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program EU Documentation Web site. Under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program, certification bodies are expected to meet NOP 2611 and EC No 882/2004 Chapter III, as amended by EC No 1029/2008, as applicable to the CB’s scope of accreditation. The ARC Branch will verify conformance to the applicable requirements beginning January 1, 2012.

 
A Q&A has been added to the ARC Branch’s Web site. This requirement will be added to GU1147MMA, ARC 00 QM 17011, and ARC 1012E Checklist during the next revision of these documents.

 
If you have any questions regarding this notification, please contact Samantha Simon at Samantha.Simon@ams.usda.gov or 540-361-4275.

 
August 10, 2011

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for the European Union were revised. Effective August 9, 2011, an AMS High Quality Bison Statement of Verification is no longer needed to export bison to the European Union and bison do not have to be sourced from an AMS approved location.

 
According to the FSIS Export Library, FSIS Form 9180-3, Certificate of Authenticity, may be issued upon request of the applicant when producer affidavits are provided to FSIS personnel as part of the export certificate application. The affidavits must attest to the origin of the animals (U.S. or Canada) and that the animals meet the age and feeding requirement stated on the certificate. When used for exports to the European Union, the phrase “Regulation (EC) No 810/2008” must be added to Box 5 of FSIS Form 9180-3 prior to being presented to the FSIS veterinarian for signature.

 
If you have questions, please contact FSIS Office of International Affairs.

 
July 27, 2011

 
To assist certification bodies requesting accreditation to the EU Organic Regulations under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program, the Grading and Verification Division created a new EU reference documents Web site. This Web site can be accessed through the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program Web site.

 
The new Web site contains the EU organic regulations, EU guidelines for importing products, ARC Branch issued memos, and 3 new documents that are utilized by auditors during assessments. The new documents include

 
  • ARC 1012D Checklist. This checklist is used to capture the results of EU file reviews and witness audits.

 
  • ARC 1012E Checklist. This checklist is used to capture the results of the assessment of the certification body’s private standard. It supports the determination of equivalency stated within the audit report. A copy of the completed checklist is provided to the certification body with the audit report so that it can be included in the technical dossier required by the EU under EC No 1235/2008, Article 11. Certification bodies may use ARC 1012E Checklist to independently assess their private standard.

 
  • GU1147MMA. This guidance outlines the EU organic regulations, including the Annexes, that are applicable to the certification bodies under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program. It includes key comments on how the regulations compare to the NOP production standards. Certification bodies may use GU1147MMA for their own use to verify that they have incorporated all applicable requirements into their Guide 65 Program.

 
Written comments regarding these documents may be submitted by electronic email to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov or by fax to 202-354-5279. Submitted comments will be reviewed and considered when making the changes to the documents.

 
July 7, 2011

 
On July 5th, the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the consolidation of the Livestock and Seed Program’s Audit, Review and Compliance and Meat Grading and Certification Branches. The restructured organization, named the Grading and Verification (GV) Division, is headquartered in Lakewood, CO and led by Larry R. Meadows, Division Director, with Stephen H. Cave and James L. Riva as Deputy Directors. Stephen Cave will manage the financial, administrative and personnel functions, and James Riva will oversee grading, certification and auditing services. The full news release can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/Newsroom .

 
As a result of the consolidation, the ARC Branch office in Fredericksburg, VA has been closed and administrative functions have been moved to the Lakewood, CO office. Phone numbers and the fax number have changed. Email addresses have remained the same. Updated contact, billing, and request for service information has been posted to the appropriate ARC Branch Web sites.

 
June 9, 2011

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Vietnam were revised on May 19, 2011. Effective immediately, beef heart, liver, and kidney products produced from cattle less than 30 months of age slaughtered on or after May 4, 2011, produced under an approved AMS EV Program are eligible for export to Vietnam. Additionally, beef offal products from animals less than 30 months of age slaughtered before July 15, 2010 and produced under an AMS EV Program are eligible.

 
Please visit the FSIS export website at

 
Updated product lists must be submitted to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov for review.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
March 17, 2011

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Chile were revised. Effective March 17, 2011, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the LT30 EV Program is no longer required to export beef and beef products to Chile. Please visit the FSIS export website at

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to Chile for the LT30 EV Program.

 
If your company has an approved LT30 EV Program to export beef to Chile,
1. Remove reference to Chile from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to Chile from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the ARC Branch if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the LT30 Program completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
March 4, 2011

 
On January 11, 2011, the ARC Branch announced proposed significant changes to the ARC 1012 Procedure, USDA ISO Guide 65 Program, Accreditation for Certification Bodies. Numerous comments from interested parties and stakeholders were received by the ARC Branch. All comments were considered when making the final changes to the Procedure.

 
The revised ARC 1012 Procedure PDF was approved and issued on March 1, 2011. It can be found on the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program Web site. Changes are effective immediately. The ARC Branch is working with certification bodies accredited under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program to update accreditation periods, as well as the Official Listing and individual Certificates.

 
It is important to note that GU7183CCB, Scope of Assessments, is now obsolete. This document has been removed from the Web site. In addition, the ARC Branch made minor changes to its ISO 17011 Quality Manual. The updated document is also available on the Web site.

 
Thank you to those who took the time to submit comments. All comments were very much appreciated.

 
February 10, 2011

 
The ARC 1030M Procedure, EV Program for Korea and EV Programs Additional Requirements have been updated. Changes are identified in red text for the ARC 1030M Procedure, EV Program for Korea. Reference to Egypt has been removed from the EV Programs Additional Requirements document. These documents can be accessed on the LS Bovine EV Programs website at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSEVBovine .

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
February 9, 2011

 
The ARC Branch has revised the ARC 1000 Procedure, Quality Systems Verification Programs, General Policies and Procedures - PDF. The changes have been identified within the document. The 2 significant changes occurred in Sections 10.2 and 18.2. The revised Procedure is effective immediately.

 
January 31, 2011

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Egypt were revised. Effective January 28, 2011, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the EV Program for Egypt is no longer required to export beef and beef products to Egypt. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Egypt.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to Egypt.

 
If your company has an approved EV Program to export beef to Egypt,
1. Remove reference to Egypt from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to Egypt from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the ARC Branch if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the EV Program completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
January 11, 2011

 
The ARC Branch is proposing significant changes to the ARC 1012 Procedure PDF, USDA ISO Guide 65 Program, Accreditation for Certification Bodies. The proposed changes would apply only to clients who request services under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program.

 
Given that the changes are significant, they are not identified within the draft document. The current ARC 1012 Procedure PDF and GU7183CCB PDF may be viewed on the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program website. The proposed significant changes include the following:

 
1. Increasing the accreditation period from 3 years to 4 years.

 
2. Requiring a combination of onsite surveillance assessments, annual update reviews, witness audits, certification file reviews, and reassessments during the accreditation period.

 
3. Clearly defining how ARC determines the selection and quantity of office locations, the witness audits, and the certification file reviews. Some of the requirements are new, while other requirements have been included in a Guidance document (GU7183CCB). It seems appropriate to include all information within the ARC 1012 Procedure, making the Guidance document obsolete. The new requirements are sourced from requirements of other Standards including the Canada Organic Regime and the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS), as well as from our experience gained during 10 years of providing the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program.

 
4. Clearly communicating with certification bodies about ARC's interaction with the USDA National Organic Program, when applicable.

 
5. Changing when the Program Review Committee will meet. The Program Review Committee would not have to meet to review the results of surveillance assessments and annual update reviews unless program suspension or withdrawal may be necessary.

 
The ARC Branch is collecting comments regarding the proposed changes. Anyone may submit comments. Written comments must be submitted by electronic email to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov or by fax to 202-690-1038. Comments must be received on or before February 11, 2011. Submitted comments will be reviewed and considered when making the final changes to the document.

 
December 27, 2010

 
The ARC 1030V Procedure, EV Program for Pork to the Russian Federation has been updated. This update and the previous update from December 20, 2010 are identified in red text within the document. This document can be accessed on the LS Porcine EV Program website at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSEVPorcine .

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
December 21, 2010

 
The ARC 1030V Procedure, EV Program for Pork to the Russian Federation and GU0032AFA Pork to the Russian Federation Guidance Document have been updated. An additional testing method, the RIDASCREEN Tetracycline Competitive Enzyme Immunoassay is now available as a testing method under the EV Program for Pork to the Russian Federation. Also, a product identification system is now required under the EV Program for Pork to the Russian Federation. Approved companies must submit their product identification system to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov by January 3, 2011 in order to continue exporting product. Information on product identification systems is included in the revised procedure. These documents can be accessed on the LS Porcine EV Program website at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSEVPorcine .

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
December 9, 2010

 
The GU0273AFA Additional Requirements for the NHTC Program guidance document has been updated. This document can be accessed on the LS NHTC Program website at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5087642 .

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
November 16, 2010

 
The following documents have been updated and can be accessed at the websites referenced below:

 

 
Additionally, GU0273AFA Additional Requirements for the NHTC Program guidance document has been created and is located at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5087642 PDF .

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
October 27, 2010

 
The Audit, Review, and Compliance (ARC) Branch is relocating within the same building on Thursday, October 28th. During our move, we will be available on a limited basis via email. We will not have access to phones as IT works to move the lines.

 
Due to the move, our Suite number and phone extensions have changed. The 2 primary phone numbers remain unchanged: 540-361-7640 and 540-361-2576. There is still an automated attendant to guide you to the correct person. You may also press "0" to reach Anita who can direct your call.

 
USDA, AMS, LS, ARC Branch
100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101
Fredericksburg, VA 22406
Phone 1: 540-361-7640
Phone 2: 540-361-2576
Electronic Fax: 202-690-1038

 
Jim Riva, Branch Chief
Extension 2740

 
Samantha Simon, Accreditation Program Manager & Quality Manager
Extension 2741

 
Diana Young, Audit Programs Manager
Extension 2742

 
Barbara Josselyn, Management Analyst
Extension 2743

 
Anita Atkins, Administrative Assistant
Extension 2744

 
Tiffanie Smith, Administrative Assistant
Extension 2745

 
Mary Lou Lusby, Program Specialist
USDA, National Organic Program, Audit and International Activities Division
Extension 2712

 
September 14, 2010

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Vietnam were revised on August 6, 2010. Effective immediately, beef offal items produced from cattle slaughtered on or after July 15, 2010 are no longer eligible for export to Vietnam. Under Ineligible Products, the FSIS Export Library states, “Meat and poultry offal (giblets) derived from animals (birds) slaughtered on or after July 15, 2010 are ineligible.”

 
Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Vietnam.

 
If you have offal items produced for Vietnam prior to July 15, 2010, you must include slaughter and production dates on all necessary shipping documentation when submitting requests for an AMS SOV for Export to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov . Once all eligible pipeline offal product to Vietnam is cleared, if your company has offal items on your approved products list for Vietnam, these items must be removed and your updated product list must be submitted to EV.Export@ams.usda.gov for review.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
August 6, 2010

 
The ARC 1030X Procedure, Procedure EV Program for SRM-free Bovine Inedible Raw Materials and the EV Programs Additional Requirements document have been updated. These documents can be accessed on the LS Bovine EV Programs Web site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSEVBovine . If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
The ARC Branch and Seed Regulatory and Testing Programs announce a new auditing program, ARC1005 Procedure, Appendix D, Accredited Seed Conditioning Program, which can be met under the Accredited Seed Program. For information on the Accredited Seed Conditioning Program, please visit the LS Accredited Seed Programs page at http://www.ams.usda.gov/ASLProgram. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
April 30, 2010

 
The ARC 1013 Procedure, EV Program for Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC) for the European Union has been updated to address requirements for the inclusion of animals certified under the National Organic Program. The ARC 1013 Procedure, EV Program for Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC) for the European Union is located at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3103506 .

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
April 29, 2010

 
The ARC Branch has issued a Foreign Travel Policy, dated April 29, 2010. The policy is accessible on the ARC Branch main page at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSAuditingServices , under "Rules & Policies" located on the right side of the page.

 
March 9, 2010

 
The LS Porcine EV Programs webpage has been updated. The LS Porcine EV Programs webpage is located at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSEVPorcine .

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
February 24, 2010

 
The ARC 1030V Procedure, USDA Pork to the Russian Federation Program has been updated. Also, a Guidance Document, GU0032AFA, was created for the EV Program for Pork to the Russian Federation. The ARC 1030V Procedure, USDA Pork to the Russian Federation Program and the Guidance Document are located at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSEVPorcine .

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
February 1, 2010

 
The ARC 1040 Work Instruction, Verification of Cattle and Beef Carcasses for the European Union High Quality Beef Quota has been updated to remove the option of reviewing feeding records to verify cattle under the High Quality Beef Quota B for the EU. This option was available only during the start-up transition period, not to exceed a 6-month time frame, which ended January 30, 2010. This document can be accessed on the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program Web site at www.ams.usda.gov/livestockfeedingclaimsauditprogram. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
January 15, 2010

 
The ARC 1030D Procedure, EV Program for Taiwan has been updated to finalize the draft version. No changes have been made. The ARC 1030D Procedure, EV Program for Taiwan can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSEVBovine.

 
The ARC 1040 Procedure, Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program has been updated. This document can be accessed on the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program Web site. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
January 14, 2010

 
The ARC Branch announces a new auditing program: the ARC 1030V Procedure, USDA Pork to the Russian Federation Program DRAFT.

 
The USDA Pork to the Russian Federation Program provides verification through audits that U.S. companies meet the specified product requirements for marketing U.S. pork and pork products to the Russian Federation. The requirements of the Program, outlined in ARC 1030V Procedure, must be supported by a documented quality management system, the requirements of which are defined in ARC 1002 Procedure. As an alternative, the claims may be verified through a USDA Process Verified Program, the requirements of which are defined in ARC 1001 Procedure.

 
There are three principal components of this Program:
  • Pork must be free of tetracycline group antibiotics. Companies must evaluate and select suppliers based on their ability to provide conforming product.
  • Slaughter facilities must implement a tetracycline group antibiotics testing program.
  • Facilities approved for export to the Russian Federation must implement a microbiological testing program for generic Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and total plate count testing.

 
Starting February 1, 2010, quality manuals may be submitted for review by email to ARCBranch@ams.usda.govor by fax to (202) 690-1038.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
January 8, 2010

 
The LS ARC Questions and Answers page been updated. The Program Compliant Ear Tags and Live Animal Verification sections have been updated. The LS ARC Questions and Answers page can be accessed at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSARCQuestionsandAnswersMainPage. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
December 8, 2009

 
As a reminder, effective January 30, 2010, the submission of feeding records will no longer be allowed as an option to verify cattle under the High Quality Beef Quota B for the EU. This option was available only during the start-up transition period, not to exceed a 6-month time frame. The ARC 1040 Work Instruction, Verification for EU HQB includes information addressing the verification of feeding practices and rations. This document can be accessed on the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program Web site. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
November 23, 2009

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Cayman Islands were revised. Effective May 22, 2007, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the LT30 EV Program is no longer required to export beef and beef products to Cayman Islands. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Cayman Islands.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to Cayman Islands for the LT30 EV Program.

 
If your company has an approved LT30 EV Program to export beef to Cayman Islands,
1. Remove reference to Cayman Islands from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to Cayman Islands from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the ARC Branch if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the LT30 Program completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
November 17, 2009

 
The ARC 1030U Procedure – EV Program for Bovine has been updated. This document can be accessed on the LS Bovine EV Programs Web site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSEVBovine. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
November 12, 2009

 
On November 12, 2009, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Belize were revised to include the restrictions on fresh/frozen sheep and goat meat (ovine and caprine), meat byproduct and meat food products from animals less than 12 months of age. Therefore, participation in the ARC 1031 EV Program for Ovine and Caprine is required to export ovine and caprine products to Belize. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Belize.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Ovine and Caprine EV Programs will be updated to list Belize for ovine and caprine products.

 
Companies that have an approved EV Program to export ovine and/or caprine to Mexico, Canada, or Cayman Islands and who wish to export ovine and/or caprine to Belize must submit an email to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov with the following information to indicate that the applicable changes have been made to the program.

 
1. A statement that reference to the country has been incorporated into the approved Quality Manual. The statement must reference where this is addressed within the company's quality manual, any SOPs used to ensure the requirement is met, and records maintained to verify conformance to the requirement.

 
2. A statement that reference to the country has been incorporated into your product list. Remember that the product list must be submitted to ev.export@ams.usda.gov for approval prior to export of product.

 
3. A statement that management has reviewed the FSIS export requirements for the country and understands the requirements.

 
Your revised quality manual does not need to be submitted to the ARC Branch. However, the necessary changes must be made to your quality manual prior to submitting the email.

 
October 22, 2009

 
The USDA Less than 30 Months (LT30) Age-Verification Quality System Assessment (QSA) Program for Korea and Taiwan, and the Draft ARC 1030D Procedure, EV Program for Taiwan have been revised.

 
At the request of the U.S. exporters of beef and beef products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established for Taiwan importers a new Quality System Assessment (QSA) Program. This is the most effective way to verify that product from eligible plants will be derived from cattle less than 30 months of age. This program will be implemented upon entry into force of the new protocol for Taiwan. Information on this Program can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/QSAMarketingPrograms.

 
Information on the Draft ARC 1030D Procedure, EV Program for Taiwan can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSEVBovine.

 
If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
October 20, 2009

 
A memorandum providing further clarification for USDA ISO Guide 65 Program Certification Bodies wishing to export organic products to the European Union is available on the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSISO65Program under Resources. The memorandum discussions definitions, dates of significance, submission requirements, and sufficiency of the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program assessment report. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
September 14, 2009

 
The ARC 1030X Procedure – EV Program for Specified Risk Materials (SRM)-Free Bovine Inedible Raw Materials has been updated to include information on the production of bone-derived gelatin products for export to Canada. This document can be accessed on the LS Bovine EV Programs Web site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/LSEVBovine. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
August 4, 2009

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for the European Union were revised. The European Union applies the same SRM requirements to meat derived from bison as is applied to meat derived from cattle. Since U.S. BSE regulations do not apply to bison, meat and meat products derived from these species for export to the EU must be produced under an approved AMS EV program. Bison slaughtered for export to the EU on or after November 1, 2009 must comply with this requirement. Therefore, the ARC 1030C Procedure, USDA Bison Export Verification (EV) Program for Canada and EU was created. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for the European Union.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated include reference to the European Union for the ARC 1030C EV Program for Canada and EU.

 
A desk audit and on-site audit are required for the approval of the ARC 1030C EV Program for Canada and EU. Please make the necessary changes to your manual and submit to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov for review. .

 
August 3, 2009

 
The ARC 1040 Work Instruction, Verification for EU HQB has been updated to include information addressing the verification of feeding practices and rations. This document can be accessed on the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program Web site at www.ams.usda.gov/livestockfeedingclaimsauditprogram. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
July 27, 2009

 
The scope of the NVCASE Recognition for the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program has been updated to include the new EU regulations: ECC No 834/2007 and ECC No. 889/2008. Interested parties may view the letter granting the scope update on the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program Web site. An updated certificate will be available soon.

 
July 15, 2009

 
ARC 1040 Procedure, Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program has been updated to include the requirements for the new European Union High Quality Beef Quota (Quota B). ARC 1040 Work Instruction, Verification for EU HQB was created to outline how AMS will verify conformance to the EU HQB Quota. ARC 1040A Form, AMS Declaration of Carcass Evaluation was created to provide a record of carcass evaluation. All documents can be accessed on the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program Web site at www.ams.usda.gov/livestockfeedingclaimsauditprogram. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

 
July 10, 2009

 
On July 9, 2009, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for United Arab Emirates were revised. Effective July 17, 2009, eligible beef must be derived from cattle less than 30 months of age produced under the LT30 EV Program. Therefore, participation in the LT30 EV Program is required to export beef to this country. Beef and beef products are eligible for export to United Arab Emirates. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements.

 
The PDF file of the Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated to include reference to United Arab Emirates for the LT30 EV Program.

 
Companies with an approved LT30 EV Program:
Companies that are approved for the LT30 EV Program and who wish to export beef to United Arab Emirates must submit an email to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov with the following information to indicate that the applicable changes have been made to the program.
1. A statement that reference to the country has been incorporated into the approved Quality Manual. The statement must reference where this is addressed within the company's quality manual, any SOPs used to ensure the requirement is met, and records maintained to verify conformance to the requirement.
2. A statement that reference to the country has been incorporated into your product list. Remember that the product list must be submitted to ev.export@ams.usda.gov for approval prior to export of product.
3. A statement that management has reviewed the FSIS export requirements for the country and understands the requirements.

 
Your revised quality manual does not need to be submitted to the ARC Branch. However, the necessary changes must be made to your quality manual prior to submitting the email.

 
Companies without an approved LT30 EV Program:
Companies who wish to be approved for the LT30 EV Program must incorporate the ARC 1030A Procedure into their approved quality manual. Please submit an email to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov with the following information to indicate that the applicable changes have been made to your program.
1. Company name, location, and establishment number.
2. A statement that the ARC 1030A Procedure (Section 4 and 5) has been incorporated into the approved Quality Manual. The statement must reference where this is addressed within the company's quality manual, any SOPs used to ensure the requirement is met, and records maintained to verify conformance to the requirement.
3. A statement that reference to the country (or countries) has been incorporated into your product list. Remember that the product list must be submitted to ev.export@ams.usda.gov for approval prior to export of product.
4. A statement asking for a revised (or new) Statement of Verification for Product Intended for Further Processing.
5. A statement that management has reviewed the FSIS export requirements for each country and understands the requirements.
6. A statement that employees will be properly trained on the requirements of the LT30 EV Program.

 
Upon receipt of adequate information, the ARC Branch will list your company on the Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers for the LT30 EV Program. Your revised quality manual does not need to be submitted to the ARC Branch. However, the necessary changes must be made to your quality manual prior to submitting the email.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
June 17, 2009

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for St. Kitts & Nevis were revised. Effective June 14, 2009, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the LT30 EV Program is no longer required to export beef and beef products to St. Kitts & Nevis. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for St. Kitts & Nevis.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to St. Kitts & Nevis for the LT30 EV Program.

 
If your company has an approved LT30 EV Program to export beef to St. Kitts & Nevis,
1. Remove reference to St. Kitts & Nevis from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to St. Kitts & Nevis from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the ARC Branch if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the LT30 Program completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
June 10, 2009

 
The U. S. Department of Agriculture announced today that the Audit, Review, and Compliance (ARC) Branch has been formally recognized as a competent accreditor of certification bodies involved in organic production and processing. The announcement was issued through an AMS Program Announcement (AMS No. 110-09).

 
June 2, 2009

 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Belize were revised. Effective immediately, the restrictions on beef and beef products have been removed. Therefore, participation in the LT30 EV Program is no longer required to export beef and beef products to Belize. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Belize..

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Bovine EV Programs will be updated remove reference to Belize for the LT30 EV Program.

 
If your company has an approved LT30 EV Program to export beef to Belize,
1. Remove reference to Belize from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
2. Remove reference to Belize from your product list at the next revision.
3. Notify the ARC Branch if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the LT30 Program completely.

 
If you have any questions, please contact us.

 
May 8, 2009

 
The ARC Branch has updated the requirements of the USDA Never Ever 3 (NE3) Program. The revised NE3 Program requirements are now located in ARC 1006 Procedure, dated April 6, 2009. This document is available on the USDA Process Verified Program Web site at http//processverified.usda.gov. Programs previously approved under the original NE3 Program requirements may begin approving animals to the revised requirements provided an email notification is sent to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov. If you have questions regarding the revised requirements, please contact the Diana Young at 540-361-7640 x107 or Diana.Young@ams.usda.gov.

 
April 10, 2009

 
The ARC Branch has revised the following documents:

 

 
  • ARC 1012 Procedure, USDA ISO Guide 65 Program, Accreditation for Certification Bodies - PDF. The revised document applies to clients who request services under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program. The changes include how companies are listed on the Official Listing and defines what must be submitted by the certification body prior to surveillance assessments and reassessments as well as when submitting expansion of scope requests. These changes were necessary to meet the requirements of the ISO 17011 Standard. This document is effective Monday, April 13, 2009.

 
The ARC Branch appreciates the comments submitted regarding the proposed changes for these documents.

 
April 8, 2009

 
The ARC Branch has announced the creation of a new USDA Process Verified Shield. The USDA PVP Shield may only be used on promotional material representing approved USDA Process Verified Programs. All promotional material must be reviewed by the ARC Branch prior to use. Instructions regarding the use of the USDA PVP Shield are in the ARC 1001 Procedure, Section 6 (PDF). The original USDA PVP Shield may still be used on PVP promotional material. If you have questions regarding changes to this document, please contact the ARC Branch.

 
March 30, 2009

 
The ARC Branch has updated the ARC 1030 EV Program Additional Requirements.

 
This document is available at the Export Verification (EV) Programs Web site, under “Resources.” If you have questions regarding changes to this document, please contact the ARC Branch.

 
March 26, 2009

 
This notice is applicable to certification bodies accredited under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program who apply the European Union organic regulation (EEC No. 2092/91).

 
On January 1, 2009, new European Union (EU) regulations went into effect for the production, control, and labeling of organic products. However, some of the new provisions on labeling do not take effect until July 1, 2010. EC No 834/2007 (PDF)replaced EEC No 2091/91, for product certified on or after January 1, 2009. EC No 889/2008 (PDF) establishes detailed rules for the implementation of EC No 834/2007; and EC No 1235/2008 (PDF) establishes detailed rules for the importation of organic products.

 
As we understand, to be eligible for export to the EU as organic, product certified on or after January 1, 2009, must meet the requirements of the new regulations. Certification bodies must ensure that product is certified in accordance to the new regulations. The ARC Branch will verify conformance during the certification body's next surveillance audit. If the certification body needs approval prior to its next surveillance audit, it may submit an application to extend the scope of its accredited program. The application for extension of scope must be submitted to ARCBranch@ams.usda.govand must include supporting documents and records.

 
At this time, the ARC Branch continues to work with the EU to address importation issues. We hope to have additional information soon. For questions or additional information, please contact Samantha Simon at 540-361-7640 x103 or Samantha.Simon@ams.usda.gov.

 
March 23, 2009

 
ARC Branch auditors recently completed training for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). As a result, the ARC Branch has decided to expand the scope of the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program to include accreditation to this Standard. Certification bodies accredited under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program who wish to apply GOTS, Version 2.0 may submit an application to extend the scope of their accredited programs. Applications for extension of scope must be submitted to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov. The application must include supporting documents and records. For questions or additional information, please contact Samantha Simon at 540-361-7640 x103 or Samantha.Simon@ams.usda.gov.

 
March 17, 2009

 
The ARC Branch has revised ARC 1030X Procedure, EV Program for SRM-Free Bovine Inedible Raw Materials. The revision includes requirements for the European Union. Information about this Program is available on the LS Bovine EV Programs Web site. Companies interested in submitting an EV Program for SRM-Free Bovine Inedible Raw Materials must contact the ARC Branch.

 
March 16, 2009

 
The ARC Branch has updated the Official Listing of Approved Companies to the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program.

 
Meat and meat products derived from animals produced under this program are eligible for certification by FSIS for export to the EU and Switzerland as High Quality Beef or Bison. These products do not require an AMS Statement of Verification (SOV).

 
Information about this program is available at the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program Web site. Companies interested in submitting a Livestock Feeding Claims Audit program should contact the ARC Branch.

 
February 18, 2009

 
The ARC Branch is proposing changes to the following documents:

 

 
  • ARC 1012 Procedure, USDA ISO Guide 65 Program, Accreditation for Certification Bodies - PDF. The proposed changes would apply only to clients who request services under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program. The proposed changes affect how companies are listed on the Official Listing and defines what must be submitted by the certification body prior to surveillance assessments and reassessments. These proposed changes are necessary to meet the requirements of the ISO 17011 Standard.

 
The ARC Branch is collecting comments regarding the proposed changes. Anyone may submit comments. Written comments must be submitted by electronic mail to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov or by fax to 202-690-1038. Comments must be received on or before March 6, 2009. Submitted comments will be reviewed and considered when making the final changes to each document.

 
February 17, 2009

 
The ARC Branch updated the documents for the Accredited Seed Programs. The new documents include:

 
  • ARC 1005 Procedure, USDA Process Verified Program for Seed, General Requirements
  • ARC 1005A Appendix, USA Accredited Seed Laboratory (ASL) Program, Specified Program Requirements
  • ARC 1005B Appendix, USA Accredited Seed Sampling Program (ASSP), Specified Program Requirements
  • ARC 1005C Appendix, USA Accredited Field Inspection Program (AFIP), Specified Program Requirements

 
The documents are available on Accredited Seed Programs Web site. Companies interested in submitting an accredited seed program should contact the ARC Branch.

 
January 12, 2009

 
The ARC Branch announces 2 new auditing programs: the USDA QSA Program for Segregation of Cattle Material Prohibited from Animal Feed (QSA S-CMPAF Program) and the Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program.

 
The USDA S-CMPAF Program provides verification through audits that U.S. companies produce bovine inedible raw materials free of prohibited cattle material intended for use as an ingredient in U.S. animal feed that is offered to rendering plants or other facilities as published in 21 CFR Part 589 Substances Prohibited from Use in Animal Food or Feed. The requirements of the Program, outlined in ARC 1036 Procedure - PDF, must be supported by a documented quality management system, the requirements of which are defined in ARC 1002 Procedure.

 
The Livestock Feeding Claims Audit Program sets the requirements U.S. companies must meet so that the ARC Branch can verify their livestock feeding claims. The claims may be those of the individual company, or as prescribed by another party. Meat and meat products derived from cattle that meet the European Union High Quality Beef and Bison feeding claim are eligible for certification by FSIS for export to the European Union and Switzerland as High Quality Beef and Bison. The requirements are outlined in ARC 1040 Procedure - PDF. As an alternative, the claims may be verified through a USDA Process Verified Program.

 
December 23, 2008

 
The ARC Branch has updated the ARC 1030K Procedure, EV Program for Hong Kong. In accordance with the FSIS Export Requirements for Hong Kong, hanging tenders are now eligible for export, effective 12/10/08. Hanging tenders must be produced under an approved EV Program for Hong Kong. The updated procedure is located on the EV Bovine website.

 
Companies who wish to include hanging tenders in their EV Program for Hong Kong must submit an email to ARCBranch@ams.usda.gov with the following information to indicate that the applicable changes have been made to their program.

 
1. A statement referencing that the company will include hanging tenders in exports to Hong Kong has been incorporated into the approved Quality Manual. The statement must reference where this is addressed within the company's quality manual, any SOPs used to ensure the requirement is met, and records maintained to verify conformance to the requirement.
2. If this requires changes to your product list, remember to submit your list to ev.export@ams.usda.gov for approval prior to export of product.
3. A statement that management has reviewed the FSIS export requirements for each country and understands the requirements.
4. A statement that employees will be properly trained on the requirements of the EV Program for Hong Kong.

 
Your revised quality manual does not need to be submitted to the ARC Branch. However, the necessary changes must be made to your quality manual prior to submitting the email.

 
If you have any questions, please contact Diana Young, Audit Program Manager, at 540-361-7640 x107.

 
December 12, 2008

 
The ARC Branch has established an electronic subscription to the ARC Newsroom Web site. Subscribers will receive an email each time announcements are added to the ARC Newsroom. Please visit the ARC Branch's ListServ Web page for more information about subscribing.

 
December 8, 2008

 
Participation in ARC Branch quality systems verification programs such as the USDA Process Verified Program and the USDA Quality System Assessment (QSA) Program that contain a source verification claim may be used to substantiate country of origin labeling (COOL) claims. For additional information about COOL, please visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/cool.

 
November 26, 2008

 
On November 13, 2008, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) export requirements for Mexico were revised removing the restrictions on fresh/frozen sheep (ovine) meat, carcass, and viscera. Therefore, participation in the ARC 1031 EV Program for Ovine and Caprine is no longer required to export ovine and ovine products to Mexico. However, participation is still required to export caprine and caprine products to Mexico. Please visit the FSIS export website to view the requirements for Mexico.

 
The Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers to USDA Ovine and Caprine EV Programs will be updated to list Mexico for caprine only.

 
If your company has an approved EV Program to export ovine to Mexico,
  • Remove reference to Mexico from your quality manual. The revised quality manuals do not need to be submitted for review.
  • Remove reference to Mexico from your product list at the next revision.
  • Notify the ARC Branch if your company wishes to withdraw from participating in the ARC 1031 Program for Ovine and Caprine completely.

 
November 7, 2008

 
Welcome to the ARC Newsroom. This website is provided by the Audit, Review, and Compliance Branch. Its purpose is to provide the latest news and information regarding the ARC Branch and its audit and accreditation programs. Within the next couple of weeks, we will provide you with the opportunity to subscribe to the ARC Newsroom listserv. Please visit the ARC Newsroom often.

 
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  Last Modified Date: 09/16/2014