On May 30, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) rule will come into effect, and will apply to most importers of food into the U.S.
The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 mandates the creation of a food safety system that focuses on preventing contamination to the food supply. Included under that act are rules for the safe manufacturing and handling of human and animal foods.
One such rule, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) rule, requires importers to verify that the food they import from outside the U.S. meets U.S. safety standards. Specifically, it requires that importers develop, maintain, and follow a food supplier verification program for each food imported (unless an exemption applies).
This rule aims to ensure that each food is produced in a manner that ensures protection of public health and that the food is appropriately labelled with respect to food allergens.
Noncompliant importers risk supply chain disruptions, delays in entry processing, and possibly the exclusion of their products from the U.S. marketplace.
Does the FSVP rule affect you?
For the purposes of FSVP, an importer is the U.S. owner or consignee of a food offered for import into the United States. A more detailed explanation, including exceptions and exemptions, can be found in this document published by the FDA.
What does the FSVP rule require you to do?
Importers are responsible for actions that include:
- Determining known or reasonably foreseeable hazards with each food
- Evaluating the risk posed by a food, based on the hazard analysis and the foreign supplier’s performance
- Using that evaluation of the risk posed by an imported food and the supplier’s performance to approve suppliers and determine appropriate supplier verification activities
- Conducting supplier verification activities
- Conducting corrective actions
If the ins and outs of this rule seem a little confusing, don’t go it alone. Our Customs specialists are available to help you make sense of your responsibilities and Customs requirements on either side of the border.
Information provided by: Canadian Customs Brokerage Dept. - Cole International