The Senate on Tuesday passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which contains provisions that would create mandatory country-of-origin labeling requirements for sales that take place online for a variety of imported products, including chicken.

Specifically, the bill would require that all products subject to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) origin marking also be accompanied by online origin disclosures when sold online. The provision identifies several product categories for which existing federal law requires specialized origin labeling, including covered commodities subject to the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s Country of Origin Labeling (AMS COOL). For products with more specialized origin labeling identified by the bill, including those subject to AMS COOL, that more specialized origin information would also have to be included in the online disclosure(s).

The bill applies broadly to all products requiring origin marking under the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, which generally encompasses all foreign articles imported into the U.S. Within this category, the bill identifies several categories for which specialized labeling requirements already exist, which includes chicken. For these products, the bill would require that the online origin disclosure also include information required for these products under their more specialized labeling frameworks.

Thus, for an imported cut of chicken, which is subject to AMS COOL, the disclosure would also have to identify the country where the animal was born, raised, and slaughtered, as required under AMS COOL.

The bill grants enforcement authority to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The country-of-origin labeling provisions would become effective nine months after the date of enactment.

The USICA now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. Before becoming law, it must first pass the House and be signed into law by the President.