USDA and FDA sign MoU for export of dairy products from US

USA – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the export of milk and milk products from the United States.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), said that the two agencies play critical roles in facilitating foreign sales of American-made dairy products, which is recognized and appreciated by the U.S. dairy industry.

USDEC and NMPF worked with both agencies to advance this new approach to dairy export collaboration.

The organizations said they deeply appreciate the USDA and FDA’s dedication to drafting this new MOU to facilitate U.S. dairy exports and their ongoing collaboration with the dairy industry.

“This MOU will help our industry continue to grow in an increasingly competitive global environment.”

Tom Vilsack – president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based USDEC

Foreign competitors are making advances in international markets, making efforts to expand overseas opportunities for U.S. dairy critical to the long-term health of U.S. dairy farmers and processors.

“Today’s announcement of an interagency MOU on dairy trade between USDA and FDA is the result of years of conversation and efforts between stakeholders within the U.S. dairy industry and the U.S. government to establish consistent guidance on tackling the rising number of export challenges facing our industry,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based USDEC.

“This MOU will help our industry continue to grow in an increasingly competitive global environment.”

This MOU will draw upon the expertise of FDA as well as USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to deepen and streamline their work together on the issues facing dairy exports to the benefit of U.S. dairy farmers and manufacturers.

“This new partnership ensures that the staff at USDA and FDA are working together in the most efficient way possible to lower barriers for our farmer’s dairy exports,” Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-headquartered NMPF.

“Increasing U.S. dairy exports will strengthen the health of our farmers and rural communities, which is more important than ever as America’s dairy industry faces new and unprecedented challenges.”

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) also applauded the signing of the MOU, explaining that

“We are excited to share this good news with IDFA’s members across the dairy supply chain,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based IDFA.

“IDFA has been a tireless advocate for this kind of federal agency efficiency and cooperation, and seeing this collaborative effort come to fruition to support U.S. dairy exports is a tremendous accomplishment and a huge value-add for the dairy industry. IDFA appreciates the efforts of USDA and FDA to finalize this MOU and facilitate our industry’s global growth.”

According to the MoU, the Agencies will, individually and collectively, facilitate the export of milk and milk products by prioritizing trade facilitation with an emphasis on providing timely responses to foreign governments and developing innovative solutions to foreign measures that may function as trade barriers.

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They will consider the time, cost, and burdens of demonstrating compliance for U.S. exporters when developing implementation solutions for foreign measures; and maintaining transparent, collaborative, and timely communications relating to issues affecting U.S. exports of milk and milk products, as appropriate, to prevent and/or resolve any barriers to trade.

The FDA will Enforce the FD&C Act and related statutes and regulatory requirements, serve as the lead agency for communicating with foreign governments, provide information to AMS and FAS related to the public health, safety, production, handling or transport of milk and milk product exports.

It will also refer to expoters to FAS and AMS who seek information about a service for which AMS or FAS has primary responsibility, provide to AMS on a monthly basis all country lists of facilities exporting milk and milk products, provide verification to AMS of whether a U.S. producer or processor of milk and milk products is in good regulatory.

The AMS will serve as the lead agency for providing export-related services to exporters of milk and milk products, collaborate with FAS to ensure dairy sanitary export certificates are offered to foreign governments, implement any dairy sanitary certificate for milk and milk products in a timely manner.

The FAS will serve as the lead agency for communicating with foreign governments regarding the facilitation of export of milk and milk products, coordinating interagency collaboration related to U.S. exports of milk and milk products, share all relevant information regarding U.S. milk and milk products.

When facilitating the issuance of dairy sanitary certificates for milk and milk products FAS will receive and analyze the foreign government requirements and in collaboration with the relevant agency share information about FDA and AMS export certification programs with foreign governments upon request of either the foreign government, FDA, or AMS.

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