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What is the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)?
FSVP is a law, and one of a number of laws that implement the provisions of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FSVP focuses on safe food practicesis and has fundamentally changed the way that US food importers conduct business.
What/who does FSVP apply to?
FSVP applies to all importers and imports of food and food-related products, with some exceptions:
Imports intended for food research purposes or personal consumption are exempt. Imports of juice and some of juice's raw ingredients are exempt. Imports of certain meat, poultry, and egg products are exempt. Imports of alcoholic beverages and some of the raw ingredients intended for use in alcoholic beverages are exempt. And imports of seafood are exempt.
It is important to mention that although the framers of this law have allowed for specific exceptions, there are many caveats to those exceptions. I strongly recommend that each importer conduct a thorough review of FSVP's applicability with respect to their individual circumstances.
When does FSVP come into effect?
It depends. The FDA has been rolling out FSVP compliance dates since May of 2017. Factors such as an importer's annual sales, number of people the employed, the size of their foreign supplier(s), and the type of imported food are all used to determine the appropriate compliance date.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
Those that fail to meet the new requirements can face penalties ranging from a warning to imprisonment. The FDA is currently conducting regulatory audits and has made this new initiative their priority.
What/who is a "foreign supplier"?
The FDA defines a Foreign Supplier as “… for an article of food, the establishment that manufactures/processes the food, raises the animal, or grows the food that is exported to the United States without further manufacturing/processing by another establishment, except for further manufacturing/processing that consists solely of the addition of labeling or any similar activity of a de minimis nature.”
How much does your service cost?
United Safety Agents' (USA) services are priced to enable all companies, regardless of their size, access to our customized solutions. Instead of charging large upfront fees, or arbitrary monthly dues, we charge primarily for usage. Our pricing model provides a flexible and affordable FSVP compliance solution.
To learn more and request a customized solution click here.
How long does the process take?
Generally speaking, the process can be accomplished within 5-7 business days - once USA is in receipt of all necessary food-safety documentation.
Am I the "FSVP importer"?
Must the FSVP importer be in the United States?
Yes. The FSVP Importer/Agent must be located within the United States.
The following FAQs provide answers to common questions. If you have a specifc question, please feel free to reach out via phone or email. Alternatively, you may reserve a time that works best for your schedule.
What does "U.S. owner or consignee" mean?
What is meant by "time of U.S. entry"?
Is the importer, as defined in the FSVP regulation, the same person as the importer of record recognized by CBP for import entry?
When is a U.S. Agent or representative required under the FSVP regulation?
Is a FSVP Agent the same as a U.S. food facility registration agent?
If I comply with the FSVP requirements for a food I import, is the food exempt from the prior notice requirements?
Who is the foreign supplier of a food?
The foreign supplier of a food is the establishment that manufactures/processes the food, raises the animal, or grows the food that is exported to the United States without further manufacturing/processing by another establishment.
What are the general requirements for an FSVP?
Section 418 of the FD&C Act regarding hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls for certain foods and the implementing regulations for human food, and for animal food; or
Section 419 of the FD&C Act regarding standards for produce safety and the implementing regulation.
Who must develop and perform activities required for my FSVP?
Who is a qualified individual?
What is the purpose of a hazard analysis?
What basic requirements apply to a hazard analysis?
What types of hazards should I consider in the hazard analysis?
May I rely on a hazard analysis conducted by another entity?
Provided the hazard analysis was conducted by a qualified individual, you may rely on another entity's hazard analysis.
What must I consider when approving a foreign supplier and determining the appropriate supplier verification activities that must be conducted for the foreign supplier?
What information about applicable FDA food safety regulations and a potential foreign supplier’s compliance with those regulations should I consider and how should I evaluate it?
What foreign supplier verification and related activities must I conduct under my FSVP before importing a food from a foreign supplier?
May I rely on someone else to determine what foreign supplier verification activities I must conduct?
What are the requirements when there is no U.S. owner or consignee at the time of entry?
How may I transmit the required importer identification information at entry?
What are some consequences if I do not comply with the applicable FSVP requirements?
What are the consequences if I do not respond to an FDA request for records?
May FDA refuse admission if I do not identify the FSVP importer at entry?
How will FDA inform me if I am not in compliance with the FSVP requirements when FDA reviews my records?
What is a warning letter?
What is an import alert?
What will happen if the FDA has determined that I am not in compliance with FSVP and places the food on Import Allert?
Is United Safety Agents' coverage nationwide?
Yes, United Safety Agents acts as the FSVP Agent for entires made at all U.S. ports.