Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Regulatory Changes – H-2A, FDA Labeling and Hours of Service

ust a brief update on several relevant regulatory changes we have been working on in regard to the pandemic response.

In regard to the H-2A program, the State Department provided the following notice last night that should assist in clearing some of the recent bottlenecks.  The expansion of the “interview waiver eligible” class of returning workers should be helpful.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/important-announcement-on-h2-visas.htm

In regard to FDA labeling impediments to organizations seeking to switch from the food service to retail channels, the following flexibility has been provided that should be helpful.

https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/guidance-industry-temporary-policy-regarding-nutrition-labeling-certain-packaged-food-during-covid?utm_campaign=CFSANCU_COVIDGuidance_03262020&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

In regard to Hours-of-Service exemptions for food and agriculture, the FMCSA has provided the following adjustment in their guidance for HOS exemptions to include inputs and raw materials.

This Emergency Declaration provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19
outbreaks, including transportation to meet immediate needs for: (1) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; (2) supplies and
equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks , gloves, hand sanitizer , soap and disinfectants;
(3) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores; (4) immediate precursor raw materials-such as paper, plastic or alcohol-that are
required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories (1), (2) or (3); (5) fuel; (6) equipment , supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing,
quarantine , and isolation facilities related to COVID-19; (7) persons designated by Federal , State or local authorities for medical , isolation , or quarantine purposes ; and (8) persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services , the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response. Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries,
including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/2020-03/Emergency%20Declaration%20FAQs%20-%20032520.pdf

We will update further as conditions warrant.  It was thought this would be of interest to you.

Sincerely,
Kam Quarles
Chief Executive Officer
National Potato Council

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Volume 14, Issue 47 | November 23, 2022

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