Importers Beware!

Food safety regulation balancing with corporate survivalPresident Obama signed into law The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA – P.L. 111-353) on January 4, 2011. The Food and Drug Administration will publish their FSMA regulations this year. What this means for importers is:

  • prepare to establish a risk-based foreign supplier verification program that guarantees imported food from each supplier is produced to the same U.S. safety standards required under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act as amended by FSMA.
  • maintain thorough documentation on your consignments, including ingredients and the manufacturing processes involved
  • traceability of food products for humans and animals are the responsibility of the importer
  • if food products for humans or animals are not allowed entry into the U.S. within 15 calendar days the goods may be placed in a warehouse at the importer’s risk and expense.  If the goods are not allowed entry within six months from the date of importation, they can be sold at public auction or destroyed. Perishable items may be sold sooner. Destruction of any contaminated consignment(s) that are refused entry into the U.S. must be accomplished within the regulatory guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Custom and Border Protection (CBP).
  • in cases where FDA has “reasonable probability” of the food article causing serious adverse health effects or death to humans or animals, FDA may suspend the registration of the food facility.…