Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. The information contained in the Observatory of Customs Controls for United States Imports (OCAI) is provided by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All data reflected in OCAI is presented “as reported” by the FDA.

  2. For more information regarding the structure of OCAI, please see the report: Observatory of customs controls for United States imports: technical standards [link: http://www.eclac.cl/cgi-bin/getProd.asp?xml=/publicaciones/xml/9/36789/P36789.xml&xsl=/washington/tpl/p9f.xsl&base=/washington/tpl/top-bottom.xslt]

  3. Every entry in the OCAI database includes a product code as provided by the importer to the FDA. The first two digits are the industry code, the broadest area into which the product falls. The third digit, the class code, designates the food group, source, product, use, pharmacological action, category or animal species of the product. For a complete list of industry codes and related class codes, please see the attached Excel file: OCAI Industry Codes..

  4. A product may be refused admission for multiple reasons. Each reason results in one entry in OCAI. The total number of refusals can thus be higher than the number of products inspected.

  5. If a refusal decision is later reversed by the FDA, that refusal is usually removed from the database in subsequent updates.

  6. The number of entries in the database may be more than the sum of entries by country, as some entries may be missing country assignments.

  7. The country names included on this web site do not necessarily imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations. Each country is assigned a region, in accordance with the classification of the United Nations Statistics Division. [http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm]