Regulations & Requirements

In addition to helping U.S. exporters navigate an array of regulations governing trade in food and agricultural products, FAS works to ensure that those regulations are predictable, transparent, and science-based.

FAIRS Reports

FAS's international offices publish Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) reports and exporter guides for the countries they cover. Copies of these reports can be found on the individual country pages of the FAS website as well as by searching the Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) database.

Regulatory Changes by WTO Members

The governments of World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries notify the WTO about changes in their domestic regulations that could impact international trade in food and agricultural products. Under WTO rules, other WTO member countries have the opportunity to evaluate these regulatory changes to determine whether they might pose sanitary/phytosanitary (SPS) concerns or technical barriers to trade (TBT). FAS maintains an online system to inform the U.S. agricultural industry regarding changes in international food and agriculture regulations that could affect U.S. exports.

Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) Database

FAS provides access to a database that lists maximum acceptable levels of pesticides and veterinary drugs in food and agricultural products in the United States, as well as 70 other countries, the European Union, and the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Regulatory Information from Other Agencies

Additional information about regulations and requirements governing agricultural exports and imports is available from other USDA agencies and state departments of agriculture. 

  • Individual state's agriculture departments provide points of contact who issue export certification documents such as Certificates of Free Sale.

Data and Analysis

On April 26, 2022, the Philippine Department of Health’s Food and Drug Administration notified the World Trade Organization of a “Draft Administrative Order Revised Rules and Regulations on the Licensing of Food Establishments and Registration of Processed Food, and Other Food Products, and for Other Purposes Repealing Administrative Order 2014-0029.” Trading partners and other stakeholders have until June 25, 2022 to submit comments.
On Thursday May 12, the Government of Brazil (GOB) cut import tariffs for several categories of goods, focusing on food staples in an attempt to reduce consumer inflation. Import tariffs on beef, chicken, corn, wheat flour, wheat, cookies and bakery products were eliminated through the end of the year.
Egypt reversed the widely criticized mandate by the Central Bank of Egypt for importers to utilize a process where letters of credit would substitute the long-established cash-against-documents process.

News and Features

Washington, DC – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today issued a report highlighting the progress made to date in implementing the agricultural provisions in the U.S.-China Phase One...
Contact: press@oc.usda.gov WASHINGTON, June 24, 2020 – Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., issued the following statement regarding food export restrictions pertaining to COVID-19: “The United...
Contact: press@oc.usda.gov WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that, effective immediately, U.S. wheat may now be shipped to Kenya regardless of state of origin or port of export. This important step...

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