FAIRS (Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards) reports are
one of the most commonly viewed reports on the FAS GAIN FAS/Post Reporting
system. They provide first-time exporters, new-to-market exporters, trade
analysts and organizations that provide assistance to promote and expand
U.S. trade overseas with answers to the most frequently
asked technical questions and general information. They are not
meant to replace broader market research and analysis that a company
must carry out to ensure that specific products meet all specific import
requirements and technical regulations for a given country.
FAIRS Report Types
There are three types of FAIRS Reports:
1) the FAIRS Country Report;
2) the FAIRS Subject Report; and
3) the FAIRS Export Certificate Report.
All Posts with an FAS staff presence submit a FAIRS
Country Report and major export market posts provide a FAIRS
Export Certificate Report annually for their country of responsibility. Each
FAS/Posts may submit a FAIRS Report for other covered countries based on
A. FAIRS Country Report
The FAIRS Country Report is an annual market access report that
aims to consolidate general information on the technical requirements and
regulations for food and agricultural imports imposed by a country. It
covers all products, pertinent importing instructions, and contacts for a
given country. The FAIRS Country Reports do not catalogue all additives and
pesticide regulations for all products OR list all of the food laws of a
country. Instead, these reports provide a general summary on key
regulations and laws and explain how these issues apply to impact imported
foodstuffs. For more detailed information or analysis the report should
refer or link the reader to a FAIRS Subject Report and/or FAIRS Export
Certificate Report, as appropriate.
The FAIRS Subject Reports can be used as an “update” to the FAIRS Country
Report. Since the FAIRS Subject Reports are written on an ad hoc basis, they
contain pertinent up-to-date information that should be incorporated into
the FAIRS Country Report. Therefore, Posts review all subject Reports during
the annual review and make changes to the appropriate sections of the FAIRS
Country Report, as needed.
Regional FAIRS Country Reports
The regional FAIRS Country Report is a type of FAIRS Country Report.
Where a group of sovereign nations have agreed to integrate their economies
and harmonize their food safety and agricultural polices (e.g., the European
Union), FAS Posts may develop a regional FAIRS Country Report. In
this case, each FAIRS Country Report (for the individual countries within
the region) focus on specific information in the report that differs
from the regional FAIRS Country Report and refer to the Regional FAIRS
Country Report for information that pertains to the harmonized policies/
regulations within the region. References to the Regional FAIRS Country
Report is also made in the other FAIRS Reports (i.e., FAIRS Subject Report
and FAIRS Export Certificate Report), as appropriate.
B. FAIRS Subject Report
The FAIRS Subject Report is a market access report used to
support the FAIRS Country Report as warranted by elaborating on specific or detailed
information. It covers import requirements related to a specific class of
products (i.e. biotechnology, organic, Halal, food additives, nutrition
labeling, etc.) or technical requirements, procedures, or policies related
to a given commodity or product group (i.e. nutrition content labeling,
contaminants, pesticides, food additive lists, etc.). The FAIRS Subject
Report should refer the reader to other FAIRS Reports (i.e., the FAIRS
Country Report and FAIRS Export Certificate Report) as needed.
C. FAIRS Export Certificate Report
An estimated four million food export certificates are issued yearly by
U.S. Federal agencies, State authorities, and the processed food industry.
Of the 800,000 issued by State and Federal agencies, the US Department of
Agriculture issues 88 percent, through efforts by
Agricultural Marketing Service
Animal and Plant Health
Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS),
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Service (FAS), according to the
Association of Food and Drug Officials
(AFDO). The FAIRS
Export Certificate Report is a market access report that covers
certification for all food and agricultural products for a given country.
Export Certificate Reports focus on providing specific information on what
export certificates foreign governments require. The FAIRS Export
Certificate Report complements the FAIRS Country Report and should refer the
reader to the FAIRS Country Report, as needed.