New FDA rules to change clearance programs

TORONTO (Oct. 29, 2003) — The Ontario Trucking Association is warning shippers and carriers that transport food that there will be some substantial changes to clearance mechanisms in the wake of the new Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations that requires prior notice of imported food shipments.

The rules, which take effect on December 12, 2003, mean the primary clearance program –the “line release” program known as BRASS (Border Release Advanced Screening and Selectivity) — will no longer be a viable option for clearing food shipment at the border once the new regulations come into effect. Food shipments crossing the border on the BRASS program currently represent about 50 per cent of the food volume.

With the elimination of BRASS, the OTA is asking carriers moving food into the United States to familiarize themselves with other clearance options that have prior notice capabilities. One clearance option already in use by a number of carriers that has prior notice capabilities is the Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS), which will become the primary clearance program for submitting prior notice of shipments.

Both the OTA and FDA are also stressing that carriers strongly consider working with their shippers and brokers to determine that the brokers have evaluated participation in the FDA program known as “paperless” OASIS.

Look for more information in the upcoming December issue of Today’s Trucking.

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