Proposed FDA legislation for Importers into USA

food imports

The FDA on 26th July published 2 proposed laws with the aim in controlling and reducing the risk of  food stuffs being imported into the USA. Currently FDA agents carry out random checks at ports and other points of entry on food stuff ensuring it is safe to enter the USA. However there is recognition that there are still significant outbreaks of diseased associated with imported food.

The new proposed law has 2 points;

Point 1: Foreign Supplier Verification Rule

The responsibility and due diligence is now down to the importer who needs to ensure that hazards with the food have been identified and they must verify that steps have been taken to control the hazards. (A classic HACCP Analysis plan must be in place with relevant data to support that the hazards have been controlled.)

Point 2: Accredited 3rd Party Certification Proposed Rule

Under this proposal overseas manufacturers of food stuff being imported into the USA must have a Certification to allow them to supply into the USA market.

The proposal is that the certification is against a FDA standard with only certification bodies or foreign governments approved by the FDA can audit and issue certifications.

The requirements sound very similar to requirements of the BRC Standards and the IFS Standards but currently there is no hint that the FDA will recognise GFSI standards and potentially this could be just “another” standard which suppliers must implement on top of the GFSI standards they may need to supply into suppliers.

Currently these are proposals and it will be interesting to see the potential impact and cost this may have on food manufacturers and importers.

About ABurne

Andy Burne has worked in Technical Management for many years in the food industry. Now he is a certified BRC auditor and provides consultancy to the Food Industry.