United States of America: Reforms to licensing and enforcement for agricultural imports
The (U.S.) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on November 14, 2011 that, in response to requests from trading partners, it is streamlining its internal procedures. Some of the reforms have already been in place since July 1 and others are still being adopted. The goal of the effort is to streamline and improve procedures that are used when trading partners seek agency approval to ship new plants, animals, and related agricultural products to the United States.
APHIS conducted review of its approval processes in the following areas:
Veterinary biologics licensing with the goal of reducing the processing time involved in reviewing product license applications from veterinary biologic firms and increasing transparency;
Granting nonregulated status to genetically engineered (GE) organisms with the goal of reducing the overall length and variability of the time it takes for the petition process;
Risk assessment and rulemaking regarding petitions to allow imports of animal and plant products with the goal of improving and streamlining the risk assessment and rulemaking processes for imported animal and plant products; and
Streamlining the enforcement process against those who jeopardize plant and animal health and animal welfare. Improvements will allow APHIS to focus on the most serious violators, more quickly apply appropriate sanctions, and resolve typical cases in substantially less time.
One of the biggest improvements that the agency will now employ is to inform a petitioner at the start of a licensing request or risk assessment procedure of all of the documentation and related materials that APHIS will require as the process unfolds. APHIS expects these changes will reduce the overall time it takes to process a complete license application by about 100 days, a savings of 20%, with the potential for additional time savings as these changes are implemented. The new improvements will also enable APHIS to better track applications that are pending, especially those which have seen little to no activity over a protracted period of time.
Any Evidence-Based Deliberation:
|Is there anything in the public record to suggest that evidence of the effectiveness of the proposed measure was considered during official deliberations?|
|Is there any evidence that alternatives to the proposed measure were considered?|
|Is there anything in the public record that suggests that empirical evidence informed the comparison across the alternatives available to government?|
|Was such evidence identified?|
|Is such evidence publicly available?|
|Did the official decision-maker in question provide an explanation as to why a chosen measure was favoured over alternatives?|
|Is there any evidence to suggest that potentially affected trading partners were consulted before the measures were taken?|
|Is there any evidence that safeguards have been put in place to ensure that implementation of the initiative is transparent and non-discriminatory?|
|Did the government state its intention to review the measure within one year of implementation?|
Date of inception:
GTA Evaluation: Green
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