FSVP for Food Importers

Food Safety Modernization Act includes rules for importers bringing food from foreign countries. Foreign Supplier Verification Program requires that importers assure that food they import meets the same level of health consumer protection as food made in the US.

With FSMA the responsibility for assuring food safety of imported foods shifted from suppliers and FDA to mostly importers and foreign suppliers. FSVP under FSMA covers most of human and animal food brought into US.

Foods under USDA HACCP regulations (meat, poultry) and foods under FDA’s HACCP (Seafood, Juice) are exempt from FSVP regulations as similar activities are conducted under HACCP regulation. Number of foods are subject to modified requirements that may not require all the activities.

Foreign Supplier Verification Program requirements are outlined in 21 CFR 1, 11 & 111.

Regulation defines “food importer” as someone in the US that either owns the food, has purchased the food, or agreed to purchase the food at the time of US entry. If there is no US owner or consignee, foreign supplier must designate US agent or representative.

Regulation specifies series of activities FSVP importers must take before importation.

These activities include the following: 1. Conducting hazard analysis of imported foods, 2. Conducting evaluation of foreign supplier and their food safety system, 3. Approving Foreign Suppliers, 4. Determining verification activities, 5. Documenting verification activities, 6. Keeping records and re-evaluating foreign suppliers and taking corrective actions to non – conformances discovered in food.

All the above activities must be undertaken by qualified individuals. According to the definition those are individuals with education, training, experience, or combination of thereof in conducting FSVP activities.

FSVP regulation recognizes food safety regulatory systems in some of the foreign countries as comparable to the US regulatory system. Importers of food from those countries are subject to modified requirements that do not require them to conduct most of the FSVP activities. Currently these countries are Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

It is important to remember that foreign supplier approval must happen before food is offered for import to the US.

Activities specified in the regulation must be taken early enough to allow sufficient time for FSVP activities and approval. BD Food Safety Consultants LLC assisted dozens of importing businesses in developing their Foreign Supplier Verification Programs.

We also offer 1,5 day FSPCA FSVP Certification Course that teaches the elements of regulation and how to effectively collect and keep records.

Contact us today for more details and to set up an appointment. training@bdfoodsafety.com or 8156416404