Japan’s Dairy Certificate Updated to Satisfy New Food Safety Law

Beginning March 1, 2020, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will endorse a new version of the “Veterinary Certificate for raw milk and milk products from cloven-hoofed animals to be exported to Japan from the United States for human consumption”. The certificate has been updated to satisfy a new requirement under Japan’s Food Sanitation Law that all imported dairy products are produced in a sanitary manner based on equal or better criteria than those of Japan. This requirement is scheduled to come into effect on June 1, 2020. The new certificate includes the following statement: 6. Was/were manufactured under a system designed to produce a product of equivalent or greater safety (regarding sanitary production) as the criteria of Japan.

Prior to agreement on this declaration, the United States provided detailed information to Japan regarding U.S. domestic requirements for the production of dairy products for human consumption. Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW) deemed the U.S. system adequate to allow this declaration for products eligible for interstate transit in the United States. Therefore, exporters should have confidence in providing this aspect of the required affidavit for products eligible for interstate transit in the United States.

In order to minimize potential trade disruptions, the United States and Japan have agreed that both the previous and new versions of the certificate will be accepted by Japanese authorities until May 31, 2020. Beginning June 1, all dairy product shipments must arrive in Japan with the new version of the certification. Additional details are available on APHIS iREGS.

The certificate is applicable to the following dairy products: Harmonized Schedule (HS) Codes 0401 (Milk and cream, etc.); 0402 (Milk and cream, etc.); 0403 (Buttermilk, etc.); 0404 (Whey, etc.); 0405 (Butter, etc.); 0406 (Cheese, etc.); and 3502.20, 3502.90 (Milk albumins, etc.). For more information on new requirements under the Food Sanitation Law, see JA9058.

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