The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is made up of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees who serve the American people at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad.
Our work is focused primarily on three of those agencies;
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). With respect to imports, APHIS is responsible for safeguarding the health of our nation’s agricultural resources. Their many animal health experts work closely with other federal agencies, states, foreign governments, industry and professional groups, and others to enhance international trade and cooperation while preventing the introduction of dangerous and costly pests and diseases.
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The AMS Specialty Crops Program administers Marketing Orders and Section 8e Import regulations that apply quality standards to certain fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops entering the United States. These standards ensure that consumers have access to high-quality products and ensure that the American produce industry and imports are competing on a level playing field.
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). FSIS enhances public health and well-being by protecting the public from foodborne illness and ensuring that the nation’s meat, poultry and egg products are safe, wholesome, and correctly packaged. Imported products must meet the same labeling requirements as domestically-produced products. After filing the necessary forms for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and meeting animal disease requirements of APHIS, all imported meat, poultry and processed egg products must be presented for inspection by FSIS at an official import establishment.