The Food and Drug Administration has provided additional information to help importers of food be prepared to comply with a law that requires to verify that your shipments comply with the safety standards in the United States of America.

The Food and Drug Administration has provided additional information to help importers of food be prepared to comply with a law that requires to verify that your shipments comply with the safety standards in the United States of America. The Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) requires that importers of food for humans or animals, with some exceptions, check that (a) their foreign suppliers use processes and procedures that provide the same level of protection of public health as the preventive controls in the U.S.A. and produce safety standards, where appropriate; and (b) the foods that matter are not adulterated and there are no errors with respect to the labelling of food allergens.

The importer is the owner or the USA consignee of the food on offer for the importation (i.e., is the owner of the food, which has purchased or has agreed in writing to buy it). If there is not an owner or consignee USA. At the time of the entry the importer is the U.S.A. agent or representative of the foreign owner or consignee, as confirmed by a signed statement of consent.

Unless it is exempt or subject to amended FSVP requirements an importer may need to carry out these activities. However, importers can comply with the obligations on the basis of key FSVP analyzes, evaluations and activities undertaken by other entities, in certain circumstances, as long as they review and evaluate the relevant documentation.

Requirements for the Verification of Foreign Suppliers

  • In addition, you must use a qualified individual to develop a FSVP and carry out FSVP activities. Or a qualified individual in preventive controls that can be achieved through the  PCQI course.
  • Perform a risk analysis that includes the identification of known or reasonably foreseeable hazards for each food or the type of imported foods (for example, parasites, pesticide residues, natural toxins, the decomposition of food, food allergens, glass or other foreign material).
  • Assess the risks posed by the food and the performance of the foreign supplier, taking into account the risk analysis for food, the entity that is going to apply risk controls (for example, the foreign supplier or your provider of ingredients), food safety practices of the foreign supplier and procedures, regulations of the U.S.A. food safety and information about the compliance of the foreign supplier with those provisions (for example, if the provider is the subject of a letter from the FDA alert warning or import), and the performance history of food security of the foreign supplier.
  • The verification of activities by an appropriate conduct provider (e.g., annual audits on site by a qualified auditor, sampling and testing, checking the records of food security) to provide the security that the risks requiring a control have been minimized or significantly avoided.
  • Take corrective action (if necessary) and investigate the suitability of the FSVP (when appropriate).
  • Re-evaluate the food and the foreign provider every three years or sooner if the importer is made aware of new information on hazards in food or the performance of the foreign supplier.
  • Identify the importer of FSVP when the declaration of entry with U.S.A. customs and border protection using the name of the importer FSVP, e-mail address and the installation ID.
  • Amended requirements under Rule FSVP would apply in the following circumstances.
  • Import of food that cannot be consumed without the dangers of being controlled or for which the dangers are controlled after importation in certain circumstances.
  • Import of dietary supplements and components of dietary supplements that will be subject to certain provisions of the current regulation of  good manufacturing practice for a dietary supplement, or other dietary supplements.
  • The importation by a very small importer or a food importer of certain small foreign suppliers.
  • Imports of certain foods of a foreign supplier compliance in good standing with a food safety system that the FDA has officially recognized as comparable or equivalent to that of the U.S.A.

Exemptions from the FSVP Rule

  • Juice and seafood from foreign suppliers who are in compliance with the respective HACCP and the ingredients that are intended to be used by the importer in the manufacture and processing of juice and finishes of shellfish are in accordance with the respective HACCP.
  • Small amounts of food imported for the purposes of research and evaluation which is not intended for retail sale and will not be sold or distributed to the public.
  • Small quantities of imported food for personal consumption which is not intended for retail sale and will not be sold or distributed to the public.
  • The food produced in accordance with the needs of canned low acid from the FDA.
  • Certain alcoholic beverages.
  • Foods that are transshipped across the U.S.A., or that is imported for the future of the export and will not be sold or distributed in the U.S.A.
  • Food that is manufactured / processed, raised or grown in the U.S.A., exports, and returned to the U.S.A. without further manufacturing and/or  processing.
  • Some types of meat, poultry and egg products.