USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced it will conduct a series of educational meetings regarding the new final rule, “Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived from Such Fish,” which was published in the Federal Register last December. The purpose of the meetings is to explain and review the regulatory requirements contained in the final rule as they apply to importers. Regulations applying to the Siluriformes fish industry were adopted under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, as required under the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills.

The final rule, which applies to both domestically-raised and imported Siluriformes fish—such as catfish—becomes effective March 1, 2016, with an 18-month transitional period. During the transitional period, FSIS will provide guidance and work with domestic establishments and importers to ensure that they understand FSIS’ requirements.

The final rule, and additional information on the mandatory inspection of Siluriformes fish and fish products, is available on the FSIS web site at Questions regarding the mandatory inspection of Siluriformes fish may be directed to

The meetings will be held on the following dates in the specified cities:

March 3, 2016, Newark, N.J.

1 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET

Rutgers University – Newark, School of Public Affairs,

The Great Hall

15 Washington Street,

Newark, N.J. 07102


March 17, 2016, Los Angeles, Calif.

1 p.m. – 4 p.m. PT

Hilton Los Angeles Airport

5711 W. Century Boulevard

Los Angeles, Calif. 90045


March 24, 2016, Houston, Texas

1 p.m. - 4 p.m. CT

Hilton Houston North

12400 Greenspoint Drive

Houston, Texas 77060

Depending on interest, similar meetings may also be held in Miami, Fla. and Norfolk, Va. FSIS will announce the dates and times of these additional meetings at a later date as needed.

To pre-register for any of the meetings, including Miami, Fla.and Norfolk, Va., go to The deadlines for pre-registration are as follows Newark, N.J.: March 1, 2016; Los Angeles, Calif.: March 15, 2016; Houston, Texas: March 22, 2016; Miami, Fla. and Norfolk, Va.: March 22, 2016. For more information regarding these educational sessions or special accommodations, please contact Evelyn Gomez at 202-418-8903 or