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Regionalization Evaluation Services

Regionalization Evaluation Services (RES) evaluates the animal health statuses of foreign regions (zones) and compartments and evaluates the risk of disease introduction via commodities for import into the United States. A region is a geographic land area identifiable by geological, political, or surveyed boundaries. A compartment is any defined animal subpopulation contained in one or more establishments under a common biosecurity management system for which surveillance, control, and biosecurity measures have been applied with respect to a specific disease. RES also helps compile information to support regionalization of the United States for export purposes.

RES follows science- and risk-based approaches that are consistent with APHIS obligations under international trade agreements. When evaluating the animal health status of a foreign region or compartment, or import risk from a particular commodity, RES staff do the following:

  • Analyze information submitted by foreign governments to support the regionalization, compartmentalization, or commodity trade request;
  • Recommend and conduct site visits as appropriate to the evaluation;
  • Coordinate the risk assessment process;
  • Identify appropriate risk mitigation measures; and
  • Coordinate rulemaking actions relevant to regionalization or compartmentalization decisions for Veterinary Services.

RES conducts risk assessments for APHIS recognition of animal health status for certain diseases, including African Swine Fever, African Horse Sickness, Classical Swine Fever, Contagious Equine Metritis, Foot and Mouth Disease, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease, Scrapie, and Swine Vesicular Disease. RES also conducts commodity-based assessments if a region cannot be considered free of one or more of these diseases. In addition, RES assesses the status of foreign regions for fever ticks and screwworm. The risk assessments typically follow an 8-factor framework defined in title 9, Code of Federal Regulations, part 92.2(b). These factors are:

  1. Scope of the evaluation being requested;
  2. Veterinary control and oversight;
  3. Disease history and vaccination practices;
  4. Livestock demographics and traceability;
  5. Epidemiological separation from potential sources of infection;
  6. Surveillance;
  7. Diagnostic laboratory capabilities; and
  8. Emergency preparedness and response.

APHIS may consider a region to be historically free of a disease if the disease has not occurred in domestic livestock in the region for at least the past 25 years or in wildlife for at least the past 10 years. RES evaluates regions for historical freedom from disease according to a 6-factor format defined in title 9, Code of Federal Regulations, part 92.2(c). These factors are:

  1. Scope of the evaluation being requested;
  2. Veterinary control and oversight;
  3. Disease history and vaccination practices;
  4. Disease notification;
  5. Disease detection; and
  6. Barriers to disease introduction.

The RES process for conducting evaluations is further described in this document:

If you wish to submit a request for a standard regionalization evaluation (not qualified for consideration as historically-free), please follow the format described in the following document:

If you wish to submit a request for evaluation as a historically-free region, please follow the format described in the following document:

A list of regions that have requested APHIS evaluation of their animal health statuses is available at the following:

RES evaluations to classify foreign regions for bovine TB (Mycobacterium bovis) and brucellosis (Brucella abortus) in bovine animals follow the procedures and criteria outlined in title 9, Code of Federal Regulations, parts 93.438 and 93.441, respectively. Regions which APHIS has not evaluated for bovine TB are by default classified at the highest risk level (Level V) and may only export bovine animals to the United States for direct slaughter. Regions seeking to export bovine animals for other purposes must undergo an APHIS evaluation for classification as Level I-IV for bovine TB. Regions which APHIS has not evaluated for brucellosis are classified at the highest risk level for that disease (Level III). Regions seeking to export sexually intact cattle to the United States may wish to request an APHIS evaluation for brucellosis classification as Level I or II, which are associated with reduced import testing for that disease.

Regions seeking APHIS evaluation and classification for bovine TB and/or brucellosis must define the region under consideration, specify the prevalence of the disease(s) among bovine herds in the region, and demonstrate the following:

  1. Effective veterinary control and oversight within the region;
  2. That bovine TB or brucellosis is a notifiable disease within the region;
  3. That the region has a program for brucellosis or bovine TB that includes, at a minimum:
    • Epidemiological investigations following the discovery of any animal or affected herd that has non-negative test results;
    • Management of affected herds in a manner designed to eradicate the disease from those herds and documentation regarding this management;
    • Regulatory controls on the movement of livestock into, within, and from the region that correspond to the risk of dissemination of the disease associated with such movement;
    • Access to, oversight of, and quality control of diagnostic testing for the disease;
    • Surveillance that is equivalent to or exceeds Federal standards for brucellosis or bovine TB surveillance within the United States; and
    • If the region vaccinates for brucellosis, it is in a manner that has been approved by APHIS.

The RES processes for conducting bovine TB and brucellosis evaluations are further described in these documents:

If you wish to submit a request for evaluation and classification for bovine TB, please follow the format described in the following document:

If you wish to submit a request for evaluation and classification for brucellosis, please follow the format described in the following document:

Countries requesting APHIS classification as negligible or controlled risk for BSE should refer to 9 CFR 92.5. If the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has classified a region’s BSE risk status as negligible or controlled, APHIS will seek and evaluate documentation to determine concurrence with the OIE’s classification. If a region’s BSE risk status has not been classified by the OIE as negligible or controlled, the country must submit an official request for classification to APHIS, along with supporting documentation.

Please consult the OIE’s website for details on OIE standards and OIE classifications for BSE.

RES risk assessments for compartmentalization evaluations typically follow an 8-factor framework defined in title 9, Code of Federal Regulations, part 92.2(d). These factors are:

  1. Scope of the evaluation being requested;
  2. Veterinary control and oversight of the compartment;
  3. Disease history and vaccination practices;
  4. Livestock or poultry commodity movement and traceability;
  5. Epidemiologic separation of the compartment from potential sources of infection;
  6. Surveillance;
  7. Diagnostic laboratory capabilities; and
  8. Emergency preparedness and response.

The RES process for conducting compartmentalization evaluations is similar to the RES process for conducting regionalization evaluations. If you wish to submit a request for a compartmentalization evaluation, please follow the format described in the following document:

RES reviews the animal health statuses of regions APHIS has previously recognized as a condition for maintaining those statuses using a rigorous, science-based approach. This process strengthens assurances that our import procedures continue to appropriately mitigate the risk of foreign animal disease introduction over time by maintaining a high level of vigilance and, if necessary, adjusting safeguards when new information or situations arise.

If you have any questions about Regionalization Evaluation Services, or require additional information, please contact APHIS-Ask Regionalization Evaluation Services at AskRegionalization@usda.gov.

Supporting Documentation

The documents describing the RES evaluation processes and the templates for requesting recognition of the animal health status of a region or compartment are presented in a Portable Document Format (PDF). Viewing these files requires a PDF file reader, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Please note that the APHIS electronic mail server does not accept certain executable file attachments, e.g. .exe, .pif, .cmd, .scr, .com, .bat, .zip, .vbs, .dll, .chm, .js, .jse, .vb, and .vbe, or attachments over a certain size.

All evaluation requests and supporting materials must be submitted in English. Submission of the information in electronic format can facilitate the review. Information submitted to support an evaluation but not withheld as confidential is made available to the public. Therefore, if submitted information contains confidential business information that would not normally be disclosed to the public, please indicate specifically which words, paragraphs, or pages contain confidential business information. APHIS intends to protect confidential business information in accordance with legal and regulatory obligations and practices.

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