The clock is ticking for all suppliers importing foods into the United States to be in compliance to the Food Safety Modernization Act's (FSMA) Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). According to the IEG Policy Weekly Briefing this week, the FDA has already cited 100 companies in regards to the new FSVP mandates that were in place last year.
From my experience, they are right. Many importers that I have interacted with and their customs clearance companies do not understand what it means to fill in three FSVP fields on the US customs entry forms.
Education is key at this stage. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being FSVP importer and because of shared loads, there is confusion which customer should take on the responsibility. The rule gives the industry flexibility to choose who will be the US representative of that food. Whoever takes on that responsibility though, must do the following:
- Develop an FSVP plan for each food brought into the United States for each supplier and each food type the supplier is importing.
- Evaluate the hazards associated with each food are controlled based on scientific and historical evidence.
- Ensure the supplier and the food being imported meets US requirements.
- Conduct corrective actions if the foreign supplier is not meeting requirements (i.e. re-verify and check the supplier is controlling the hazard now or remove approval from that supplier).
That's where companies like Safe Food En Route, LLC are here for the suppliers and for the US importers that do not have the bandwidth for food safety in their staffing. Subscribe below to our blog and do not delay contacting us if you need our services.