The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service recently announced the implementation of Phase Five of the Public Health Information System (PHIS) export module rollout.
Effective August 31, 2021, the following countries and territories have been added to the PHIS export module: Benin, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Macao, Myanmar, Panama, Qatar, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
What Is PHIS?
Launched in 2010 in response to a 2007 inspector general’s audit that found the FSIS data infrastructure to be woefully lacking, PHIS is a user-friendly, web-based application that has largely replaced legacy paper-based business processes with a comprehensive and fully automated data-driven inspection system. PHIS not only improves the way FSIS detects and responds to foodborne hazards, but also helps U.S. exporters of meat, poultry, and processed egg products to remain competitive internationally.
- The PHIS statements module will replace the current use of letterhead certificates for meat and poultry exports that are processed in PHIS.
- Export applicants will no longer complete or attach any letterhead certificates for export applications for any of the countries added to PHIS on or after August 30, 2021.
- For these applicable countries in PHIS, the PHIS statements module will also be used to generate other statements that are not part of a letterhead certificate but are required as indicated in the FSIS Export Library listing for the importing country.
Enhanced Digital Signature
In the notice, FSIS provides new instructions for the enhanced digital signature that was implemented on July 9, 2021, whereby inspection program personnel will no longer manually apply a digital signature or manually upload any signed export documents for countries that accept a digital signature (including the 14 countries added in Phase Five).
Though unchanged in Phase Five, the notice also includes instructions for the ordering and use of FSIS security paper and seven-digit export stamps for exports processed through the PHIS export module.